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Rio's Olympic golf course in turmoil

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From AP as posted on ESPN

Quote:

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Rio de Janeiro's Olympic golf course faces an uncertain future after a court proposed Wednesday that the under-construction layout should be modified to meet environmental concerns.

Judge Eduardo Klausner, hearing a lawsuit brought against the city of Rio de Janeiro and the course developer, said the defendants had to return Sept. 17 to say if they could accept the proposal. Klausner said work on the course could continue, but no new areas of vegetation could be plowed under.

In recent months, workers have been putting down grass on the course, with the hope of finishing by the end of the year. That would give the turf two growing seasons to mature.

Golf's return to the 2016 Olympics after 112 years was to be a centerpiece of the Rio de Janeiro Games. But the course has been plagued by legal challenges over land ownership, questions about its location in a nature reserve, and other delays that date almost five years.

http://espn.go.com/olympics/story/_/id/11463567/rio-court-asks-modifications-puts-2016-olympic-golf-course-turmoil

Clearly poor planning on the part of the organizers and course builders/designers.

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If the environmental concerns (regulations) were on the books when the course was started, then some cost saving shenanigans were going on. I don't know exactly what the environmental regulations are down there, but apparently they have some clout. Pretty sure some compensations will be made, and the course will be ready for the Olympics. If not, one of the others in the area will be used.

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California needs to do a quick head-count.  Apparently some of their tree-huggers have headed south for the season.  Now would be a good time to seal the borders, before they come back! :-D

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California needs to do a quick head-count.  Apparently some of their tree-huggers have headed south for the season.  Now would be a good time to seal the borders, before they come back!

Remind me to have our hazardous waste sent to Orlando! :-)

It is surprising that this issue comes to light so late.  Having done work in Brazil, their regulations are very specific.

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Can't someone just show up somewhere with a briefcase full of cash and fix it? ;-)
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Remind me to have our hazardous waste sent to Orlando!

That's what Tampa is for...... :-D

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Update on what's going on in Rio:

http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/judge-gives-rio-5-days-make-decision-olympic-golf-course-changes?sct=hp4

Quote:

A judge has given the city of Rio de Janeiro and a local developer a deadline to decide whether they are willing to make changes to the Olympic golf course design, which could help settle a legal dispute that is threatening its completion in time for the 2016 Games.

The judge wants to know if they agree to "immediately" move three holes and redesign part of the course to make way for a wildlife corridor that will help preserve a local nature reserve, a demand made by local prosecutors.

The public prosecutor's office is taking on the city government and the golf course developer in a lawsuit that contends environmental rules were breached in building the course, which had been billed as one of the highlights of the Rio Games.

In the decision announced Monday, judge Eduardo Antonio Klausner denied a request to give more time for the two sides to negotiate and said the city and the developer have five days to confirm whether or not they'll re-design the disputed sections of the course.

"The defendants must say in five days whether they will immediately remove holes 12, 14 and 15 and relocate them in a way that allows for the preservation of the area," the judge said.

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This is a joke.

The course was fully permitted. The plans were public for years. They've FULLY BUILT those holes.

I foresee three outcomes:

  1. The entire Olympic Games goes to London. Rio isn't doing their part to build what needs to be built.
  2. The games are in Rio but the golf event does not take place, or is thrown together at the last minute somewhere else.
  3. The games take place and, because golf is represented so poorly, is a one-and-done scenario.

#2 and #3 are closely related. I doubt very much that the games go off well now, including the golf, in Rio.

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This is a joke.

The course was fully permitted. The plans were public for years. They've FULLY BUILT those holes.

I foresee three outcomes:

The entire Olympic Games goes to London. Rio isn't doing their part to build what needs to be built.

The games are in Rio but the golf event does not take place, or is thrown together at the last minute somewhere else.

The games take place and, because golf is represented so poorly, is a one-and-done scenario.

#2 and #3 are closely related. I doubt very much that the games go off well now, including the golf, in Rio.

You underestimate the greed involved with the Olympics and World Cup.  FIFA made Brazil build 8 soccer stadiums in a country with hundreds of soccer stadiums.  This is just a means to drag more money into the mix.

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You underestimate the greed involved with the Olympics and World Cup.  FIFA made Brazil build 8 soccer stadiums in a country with hundreds of soccer stadiums.  This is just a means to drag more money into the mix.


What does that have to do with anything? How does "greed" play a role here? If the country wants to host an event, re-routing three holes now is NOT the way to go about doing it.

They've been keeping London on the back burner in case Rio can't pull it off.

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They've been keeping London on the back burner in case Rio can't pull it off.

The whole games or just the golf?

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The animals around here don't even know that a golf hole is not their corridor.

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Quote:
The games are in Rio but the golf event does not take place, or is thrown together at the last minute somewhere else.

Was it even necessary to build a course in the first place? Plans could have been made (and not thrown together at the last minute), that utilized existing resources. As the original ESPN story that preempted this thread noted:

Quote:
Some have questioned the need to build a new course for the Olympics. At least one other venue in the Rio area, the Itanhanga Golf Club, might have been suitable. It has hosted the European Tour, and a U.S. LPGA Tour event.

The judge's words are quite striking...

Quote:
"It is in society's interests that the Olympics take place and it's also in society's interests that the environment be preserved," the judge said. "What has to be observed is legality, and within legality is respect for the environment."

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable piece of jurisprudence...

The gargantuan nature of the Olympics (and, as someone else noted, the World Cup), has become ponderous and seems somewhat divorced from the underlying principle of the whole enterprise.

And what happens to these monoliths after the month of the Olympics has passed? Well, let's take a look at Beijing or, indeed, London .

It mightn't hurt the organizers of these events to rein in their grandiose schemes and focus on the fact that the basic sporting competition is what is supposed to be important, rather than the gilded follies and pomp that goes along with it all. That way, there may be fewer disgusting examples of what happens when this stuff gets out of hand, e.g. the " Tower of Football " in Qatar.


Quote:

The course is being carved out of an environmentally protected area -- some of the city's last green space and most valuable real estate -- and was approved by Rio's city government in a legal move that's being questioned.

The golf project has been in dispute since plans to build the course began almost five years ago.

No-one should be terribly surprised by this judicial intervention, then. The world likely has enough golf courses without building another one on an environmentally protected area, which is probably an environmentally protected area of some significance, given that it happens to be an environmentally protected area and the last bit of green space left in the twelfth most polluted city in the world...

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The whole games or just the golf?


The whole Olympic Games.

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Frankly the Olympics and the World Cup are no longer about athletics.

They are multi-billion dollar enterprises trying to extract the most out of the host countries and broadcasters.

AND the most brilliant part is that they are both not for profit enterprises and therefore pay NO TAXES.

The cost of hosting these events have grown exponentially and soon it will undoubtedly bankrupt a host country, if it hasn't already.

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Frankly the Olympics and the World Cup are no longer about athletics.

They are multi-billion dollar enterprises trying to extract the most out of the host countries and broadcasters.

AND the most brilliant part is that they are both not for profit enterprises and therefore pay NO TAXES.

The cost of hosting these events have grown exponentially and soon it will undoubtedly bankrupt a host country, if it hasn't already.

^^This

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BECAUSE..the issue in question probably was known about a couple years ago and what better way to extort money out of developers but to hit them when its too late to make changs. Anyways...thats just my feeling and you never know in these third world countries! :D Regards Mailman
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Quote:
BECAUSE..the issue in question probably was known about a couple years ago and what better way to extort money out of developers but to hit them when its too late to make changes.

Oh, I don't know about that. It seems that there is quite a cosy relationship between the city and the developer, so to speak.

The developer is also (amazingly) the landowner, who apparently overcame hotly disputed legal challenges to his lawful ownership of the land in order to construct this golf course. Not that it's just a golf course he's building....


Quote:

A key developer in the golf-course project is Pasquale Mauro, one of the largest landowners in the region. Plans include 160 high-end apartments around the course that are selling for between $2.5 and $7 million. Penthouses are selling for more.

Critics say the development is more about real estate than golf, which is not a major sport in Brazil.

Source: ( New Zealand Herald via Associated Press )

The "wildlife corridor" appears to have been originally proposed as a fairly reasonable compromise to the complaint raised (and litigated) by the public prosecutors.

The Mayor of Rio, however, is apparently not too concerned by this " distraction ," (and, neither, I'm willing to bet, is the developer....)

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