Gil Hanse's rendering of
the 17th hole at Rio
Construction delays in Rio
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/14/13
Well, we can't say we didn't see this coming.

Construction of the Rio 2016 Olympic golf course, designed by the American architect Gil Hanse, was supposed to have begun this past October. Hanse even moved to Rio de Janiero in order to supervise construction of the course! But predictably, legal battles and bureaucratic blunders have kept construction crews off the site.

After the city won the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, two different chief operating officers of the local Olympic organizing committee resigned in the space of one year. (Just last month, the committee's chief financial officer bailed out.)

Then, a Brazilian company called Elmway Participacoes filed a lawsuit claiming ownership of the land on which the Olympic golf course would be built. That company owns several condominium buildings located adjacent to the golf course site. Last June, a judge decided not to block construction of the course, but legal disputes over ownership of the land still have not been decided by Brazil's Higher Court of Justice. The Associated Press reports that this decision could take months — or even years.

Making matters worse, city government officials still have yet to issue all of the necessary permits, licenses, and contracts needed for construction to begin last October, in order to meet a scheduled 2015 completion date, giving course owners and Olympic officials badly-needed "shakedown" and testing time.

Now, International Golf Federation Executive Director Antony Scanlon says he is "very concerned" about the repeated and myriad delays:
"There is now very little time available to construct and condition a championship standard golf course. The IOC is aware of our concerns and the IGF is hopeful that the upcoming IOC Coordination Commission visit to Rio de Janeiro will address these."
In response, Rio 2016 Communications Director Carlos Villanova insists that the necessary legislation has already been passed and that construction is due to begin in April — seven months late.

No golf course "Plan B" exists, either. If Hanse's course is not built, golf will not be played at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"Tell me this isn't a government operation."
— The American actor Ed Harris, portraying legendary NASA flight director Gene Kranz in the movie Apollo 13

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Image via Hanse Golf Course Design

[ comments ]
joe jones says:
Same old, same old. Maybe all of this talk about should golf be in the Olympics is a mute point.
falcon50driver says:
I think the word you are looking for is "MOOT".
[ post comment ]
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