From Olympic dreams to a pipe dream?
Construction begins in Rio... April Fools!
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/3/13
On March 12, we told you about the incessant delays in construction of the 2016 Olympic golf course in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. At that time, we mentioned how architect Gil Hanse hoped that construction would begin this past Monday, April 1. Sure enough...

April Fools!

As I predicted, construction still has not begun, despite the glowing pronouncements and promises of 2016 Brazilian Olympic Committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman. While some of the land is being cleared, no construction can actually begin until a legal dispute over ownership is settled by Brazil's Higher Court of Justice. And trying to predict when that judgement will be made is impossible.

Essentially, the bureaucratic blunders and political posturing involved in getting this course built now resembles M.C. Escher's impossible Penrose staircase illusion, Ascending and Descending.

And while architect Gil Hanse wrestles with delay after delay and the legal barriers, one man is still upset about being passed over for the architecture job: Nine-time major champion Gary Player.

In an interview on Tuesday, April 2 with São Paulo-based writer Tales Azzoni of the Associated Press, Player still seems bitter about losing the job to Hanse, a full-time architect with an impressive list of environmentally-sensitive, yet picturesque and challening, course designs:
"I just felt I could've done more for golf in Brazil in the future than will be done. I would have come back here many times and promoted junior golf, would've brought tournaments here, the Gary Player Invitational... Those were ideas we had but we lost, that's fine, you move on.

"The thing that upset me for not getting it was the fact that I've been to Brazil so many times, I've played in tournaments here, met so many people, and I thought that would count," Player said. "But it didn't. There is obviously a lot of politics in these things, so you move on."
Also in the interview, Player sounded shocked to learn of the drawn-out legal battle that has stonewalled construction to this point. It is this writer's opinion that if Mr. Player knew just how frustrating the process would be, he might change his mind.

Regardless of the architect chosen, unless and until the Higher Court of Justice moves and decides on the ownership battle in a reasonable amount of time, the 2016 Rio Olympic golf course is likely to end up like the Chicago Spire.

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Image via Hanse Golf Course Design

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
They'll be playing a putt-putt and the guy who gets the gold will also get a free round, and a free slice of cheese pizza.
[ post comment ]
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