Rio 2016: Organisers apologise for transport chaos after fans left to queue at Olympic Park in sweltering condition

Bag checks and poorly planned transport meant that fans were left waiting outside the Olympic Park in blazing sunshine

Matt Gatward
Rio de Janeiro
Saturday 06 August 2016 17:14
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Fans were left queuing to gain entry to the Olympic Park for hours
Fans were left queuing to gain entry to the Olympic Park for hours

Rio organisers were forced to apologise on day one of the Games on Saturday when spectators were forced to queue outside the Olympic Park in the blazing sun awaiting access to the venues.

With temperatures hitting 32 degrees Celsius in the city it made for an uncomfortable first day for spectators who were held up by the bag scanning process which delayed entry to the Olympic Park where the swimming, gymnastics, basketball and tennis is taking place. Organising committee spokesman, Mario Andrada, said “we obviously need to upgrade" the systems and said they have asked authorities to speed up bag checks.

There were reports that some bags were going unchecked as spectators were ushered through to speed up the process.

Andrada added: "We apologise to everyone who is standing in the sun in lines outside the venues ... we need to fix this in the next couple of hours."

Official buses transporting media to and from Olympic venues were also causing havoc with some getting lost and taking the wrong directions. Andrada said organisers would check if drivers had sufficient training as it became apparent some did not. The bus from Media Village 3 to the Main Press Centre, a 15-minute trip, took 55 minutes on Saturday morning.

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But Andrada added: "We don't have major structural problems with transport." Yet getting away from the Maracana after the Opening Ceremony on Friday night was chaos with traffic stationary, the Metro suffering from overcrowding and far too few Olympic buses laid on to cater for staff and media.

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