Following many stories about financial crises hanging over the head of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Rio Organizing Committee had crisis meetings in Brazil on Monday.
The IPC released a statement early on Tuesday addressing the speculation surrounding cuts to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. That statement outlined several meetings, both in Rio and in Brasilia to meet with local and federal government officials in meetings labeled “very positive” by IPC President Sir Philip Craven.
Craven was very keen to state that things were all prepared to go for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. “Rumours that the Games may not go ahead or that sports may be cut are totally unfounded and not true. Our aim right now is to bring in additional funding and resources in order to deliver the Games at the service levels expected by all stakeholders, most importantly the athletes.” Said Craven in the statement.
But there was warning from Craven that those sorts of cuts may well happen should the funding situation not change. “If no extra funding is available then the Organizing Committee will have to implement further cuts to the Paralympic Games on top of the cuts we have already made alongside the IOC and Olympics.”
That is being seen as a last resort from Craven as the event looks to have the services meet the normal standards of a Paralympic Games. As part of the meetings the IPC looked to get assurances from this government, but the Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes pledged BRL 150million to cover the event.
The challenge with that pledge is that no level of government is allowed to give any funding towards the Games until the Organizing Committee throw open their books. The IPC’s preference is for this to happen, and they seem confident of the financial issues being rectified, but there is no clear news on how that is happening. There is bound to be more news coming on this, in either direction, but there will be a number of Paralympic athletes waiting for good news.