Olympics cost a lot - Fennell
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
He still has some calculations to make but president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Mike Fennell knows two things about the bill for the team's participation at the 2016 Olympic Games, which get under way today: it will be expensive and it will surpass the London 2012 expenditure.
Fennell, who was at the Olympic Village yesterday at the country's flag-raising ceremony, noted that the pre-Olympic camp for the track and field team, which took place at the Centro de EducaÁ„o Fisica Almirante Adalberto Nunes naval base, and the necessary travel arrangements for reserve athletes here in Rio de Janeiro have hiked the expenses.
"I don't have the total yet; it's a lot of money. The pre-Olympic camp was quite expensive despite the fact that we got some major concessions from the military for the use of their naval base. The hotel was expensive, but the big help there was through GraceKennedy because they sponsored the food and the chef, but that, too, was a great success because all the athletes were happy," Fennell told The Gleaner.
"For London, our pre-Olympic camp was fully donated by the University of Birmingham, but that is not the case here, we have had to pay some money in this case. We have also had to pay for some extra transport for athletes who may not be competing because they were on the reserve list, and it's a long distance, and we have brought them here, but because athletics is so important and it's our premiere sport, we had to invest that money to ensure that we have the best situation for," said Fennell.
"So it's a lot of money," Fennell added.
The JOA boss is nonetheless looking forward to the start of competition and is eager to settle the early accommodation issues that have affected the team at the Olympic Village.
"Yes, I am really excited about the start of the Games, but we still have a few things to sort out. Our job now until competition starts is to really make sure that all these wrinkles are fixed - the accommodation, getting people to their rooms. The planning for that was done, but some of the beds, and so on were not all that ready, but that is being fixed as we speak," Fennell added.
"The athletes seem to be settling very well. The camp was a great success. Now we have to put everything together to help them to retain focus on the competition," Fennell added.