Rio Paralympics 2016: Games to go ahead with major budget cuts

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The Paralympic Games will take place as planned next month, but face major budget cuts, the International Paralympic Committee has announced.

The cuts will be made to venues, the workforce and transport.

Delayed travel grants will now be paid to athletes, but 10 countries may struggle to get teams to Rio.

“Never before in the 56-year history of the Paralympic Games have we faced circumstances like this,” said IPC president Sir Philip Craven.

With 19 days to the start of the Games, the IPC says Rio’s organising committee has not raised enough money to fund the Paralympics.

This is due to Brazil’s struggling economy and the fact that only 12% of available tickets have so far been sold for the Games, which start on 7 September.

It meant organisers were three weeks late in paying 8m euros (£7m) of travel grants to help athletes get to Rio.

But Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes has secured an additional £36m of funding and £24m in sponsorship from state-run companies after an injunction was lifted that had blocked further state aid for the Games.

What’s being cut?

  • Downsizing of Rio 2016’s workforce for the Paralympics
  • Changes to the transport services for athletes and their teams
  • The closure of a number of venue media centres
  • Moving events to other venues to enable Deodoro Park to be dismantled, allowing the other venues to have dedicated transport hubs
  • Security forces currently in place for the Olympics will remain for the Paralympics.

 

Craven added: “These cuts are on top of the ones we, together with the International Olympic Committee, have already made in the last 12 months and are likely to impact nearly every stakeholder attending the Games.”

Organisers were meant to pay travel grants to all 165 participating countries by the end of July. The grants, paid to national Paralympic bodies, cover the travel costs for athletes and officials.

Read BBC and Paralympic.org

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