Brazil’s $12 Billion Olympic Legacy Lies in Ruins

Less than six months ago, the eyes of the world were on the huge Olympic stadiums in Rio.

Billions of dollars were spent on bringing the flagship sporting event to Brazil, with the overall cost estimated to be around $12billion. This was at a time when the Brazilian economy was in a huge recession, and state workers were being paid late, if at all.

But now the Olympic legacy lies in ruins, new photos have revealed, with arenas crumbling and already falling into disrepair.

In the aquatics centre, which was built as a temporary structure for the Games, the pool has been drained and the arena look dilapidated on the inside – a far cry from the impressive venue it was last summer.

And the world-famous Maracana Stadium, which was also hosted the World Cup final in 2014, is now in a state of abandon, the once-luscious green pitch far from the top playing surface it once was.

The electricity has been turned off because of unpaid bills – estimated to total nearly $1 million, and like many other arenas used during the Games last year, questions remain over its future. The stadium was looted last month; the consortium which manages it has called for the state to intervene.

It is thought hosting the Olympics cost the Brazilian government $3billion, with the rest of the massive bill coming from other sources.

Two years earlier, the Ministry of Sport stated, $11.63billion was spent on bringing the World Cup to the cash-strapped country. Such was the outcry that soccer-mad Brazilians took to the streets to protest the massive expenditure at a time when public services were under intense pressure.

This year, the New York Times reports, that at least 48 towns and cities are considering cancelling carnival celebrations this year because they cannot afford it.

In Rio, the newspaper states, authorities are predicting a budget shortfall of $1billion this year, with the state budget likely to be $6billion short. It also owes $10billion in loans.

There were big plans for the Olympic infrastructure once the Games finished.

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