Wednesday, July 27, 2011

World Military Games in Rio

The World Military Games just came and went in Rio.  In some ways they were a dress rehearsal for the World Cup and the Olympics; but on a smaller scale.  There were thousands of athletes put up in several villages who needed three meals a day and language-specific services throughout their stay.

There were competitions, the use of smaller venues (plus the big Copacabana beach venues) and the simple need to get athletes from one place to another. Athletes who had already placed out of their competitions needed something to do every day while others continued to compete.
Luiz was a volunteer during the games.  He was among the volunteers who spoke English – placing him among the more desirable guides. He spent 10 days arriving early and leaving late to facilitate the experience of visiting athletes and their organizers.

Thanks to a friend of ours who is a career military man, we got pairs of tickets to lots of events, including the opening and closing ceremonies.
Since the opening ceremonies conflicted with the Blogger Meet-Up, I just went to the closing ceremonies – with my mother-in-law. It was an adventure. And a beautiful show.

Luiz had a great time working with other volunteers and meeting international athletes. There were lots of cool people eager to discover Rio. He spent long days showing the athletes various parts of the city.

It was a great event. And I hope there were lessons learned. Luiz expressed some frustrations about the overall organization. It would be great to assume these problems were being recorded to help improve the planning for the World Cup and Olympics. One can hope.


Anonymous said...

what were the problems during the event? thank you

Jim said...

anon - in general athletes felt isolated in their villages and not able to explore Rio. They wanted to get out and see things, but there were few busses providing excursions. Also - the food provided to some villages was only "box lunches" and as such was not satisfying to the athletes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner -- in a box lunch. Not good.

Security was good, and there were many busses taking people to tourist points -- just not enough.

Rachel said...

Wow Jim, sounds like there are a lot of kinks to work out!

Jim said...

Luiz's biggest concern was that while there were lots of volunteers, they were young and not focused. There were no "volunteer supervisors" to keep everything running smoothly. Many volunteers showed up, signed in, ate lunch, then went home.

More oversight is needed.