(Reuters) – Rio de Janeiro will benefit from hosting the Olympic Games, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach said as Brazil struggles to cope with its worst recession in decades.
Questions were raised over the cost of hosting the event, which is estimated to have risen by 400 million Brazilian reais ($115 million) since August as critics argued the money could have been better spent during a time of financial crisis.
“If you look at the new port, if you look at the new hotels and shops which have been created and will be created by this enhancement of the tourism industry,” said Bach, who was speaking at the unveiling ceremony of the 2016 Olympicmedals.
“I think you can really say there will be a much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games.”
Despite the construction contract for the Olympic Tennis Center and Velodrome being canceled earlier this year, Bach was confident everything would be in place by the time the Rio games begin on Aug. 5.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)