Brazil is 'ready' - Valle
Deputy head of mission at the Brazilian Embassy, Diana Jorge Valle, says her country is ready to welcome the world, while alleviating fears concerning health and security ahead of the fast approaching Olympic Games set for August 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro.
Her sentiments were shared by Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president, Mike Fennell, who added that his organisation is assured that all the necessary steps are being taken to protect all involved.
Organisers of the Olympic Games have had to deal with massive global concern around threats of a Zika virus outbreak during the Games, with issues related to general health, political, and economic instability, as well as security fears also dominating the build-up to the event.
Speaking at a press conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, where Jamaica's 63-member Olympic team was announced yesterday, the Brazilian official pointed to the country's experience of hosting major events and promised a safe and enjoyable Games.
"Less than one month before the world's greatest sporting event begins, Brazil can say with confidence, we are ready to host the first Olympics and Paralympic Games to take place in South America," said Valle.
"Hosting events in this scale represents an accomplishment and an immense pride for the Brazilian people," she added.
WELCOMED THE WORLD
Brazil recently hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup and have also welcomed the world for the Pan American Games, World Military Games, the Confederations Cup, the World Youth Games, among other large scale events.
"Over the past few months, rumours of an outbreak of tropical diseases during the Games have been a source of concern. We can assure you, as well as did the World Health Organisation that the risk of ZikV is practically non-existent," she added.
"I recall a similar prediction during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil; 1.4 million people were there, no epidemic occurred. There is no reason to believe it will be different this time. During the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics tourists and athletes can be assured of favourable health conditions," Valle noted.
"Brazil awaits you with open arms, it will be an unforgettable event for everyone. I as well as many Brazilians wish the Jamaican team the best, all the best and many medals on their way," she added.
Fennell was also confident that things will run without much issue in Rio.
"Based on all the reports and advice we have been given, we are satisfied that all the necessary measures are taken to ensure that the health concerns are not of a major proportion and should not deter anybody from competing well and enjoying themselves very much in Rio," Fennell said.
"Perhaps because I have seen so many Games and been involved in so many Games, not just Olympic Games, wherever in the world you go there are issues to be dealt with. It's a matter of how they are being dealt with and I believe the Brazilian authorities are very much on top of the situation and we are going to see an extraordinary Games," said Fennell.
The Jamaicans will begin arriving in Rio de Janeiro on July 23 for a pre-Olympic training camp at a Naval base. They will break camp on August 3 before moving into the Athletes' Village on August 4 ahead of the Opening Ceremony a day later.
GraceKennedy has committed to providing dietary and nutritional support for the team during their training camp.