With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games successfully underway in completed stadiums, with the only major issue being the color of pool water it would have seemed the Organizing Committe managed the games well enough. But on Saturday the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) revealed that the Rio 2016 organizers were behind on paying travel grants.
The Rio organizing committee is currently two weeks behind on paying those travel grants to National Paralympic Committees (NPCs). These missed payments mean that a number of athletes could be unable to compete due to a lack of money to get to Rio.
In a statement IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez spoke about his feelings on the matter “timing is of the essence,” he said. “All week we have been working closely with all parties involved to try to find solutions to the issues Rio 2016 currently has in order to minimise the potential impact on next month’s Paralympic Games.”
Facing a record recession, Brazil has struggled with public funding in recent years and Rio 2016 was one of those things, understandably, caught up in those cuts. That forced an Organizing Committee spokesperson, Mario Andrada to speak about trying to find partners and looking for synergies.
“We haven’t run out of money but, like the Olympics, we’ve looked at cuts and we are revising our plans in the same direction,” said Andrade to the media about the situation.
There are no changes made to the Paralympic schedule, but for a games already missing Russia, missing a host of other NPCs could severely limit what is on offer for fans. Given ticket sales are already so low, the issue needs to be solved if Rio 2016 is to be considered anything close to successful.