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The Rio 2016 Committee will follow the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games closely. The Games will begin this Friday in Russia. The team, which has already started arriving in the city, is part of the Observers Programme – staff who will participate in the Games on the spot in order to gain experience to be used to prepare an unforgettable edition of the Summer Games in 2016.
“It’s an important opportunity to confirm understanding and identify as well as clarify details that may affect the areas’ planning. Recording their experiences in Sochi and transferring knowledge are important things for the Rio 2016 team’s orientation, as well as for the successful delivery of excellent Games in 2016”, explained Rio 2016 Information and Knowledge Manager Patricia Ribeiro.
The team will identify good practices, assess the solutions adopted for operational problems and bring their impressions back to Brazil. Every observer is responsible for delivering a detailed report to the committee at the end of the event.
In addition to observing the operations of the local organising committee, the team will also assess spectators’ experiences. Issues such as crowd flow, signage and guidance for competition areas, queue control and interactive entertainment solutions are part of the observers’ agenda.
“This experience will serve as a great analysis opportunity for the planning we’re doing for our operations. My aim is to have an overview of the services they operate as well as observing the differences and similarities between winter and summer operations; the innovations implemented as well as the possibilities to bring further innovations to the area in 2016”, said Regina Meireles, Rio 2016 Event Services Regional Specialist.
According to Giselle Cerqueira, the Committee’s Paralympic Integration Analyst, who will land in the Russian city a week before the start of the Paralympic Games, the transitional period between the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be crucial.
“As I’ll arrive before the start of the Paralympic Games, I’ll have the opportunity to experience the transitional period between both events and this knowledge will be of great value to our Games’ success. I’d like to see the integration between the areas and the partners within the context of the work carried out by the Paralympic Integration area, which is quite broad. As we support the areas, it’s important to look for all possible ways to make it happen”, she says.
In parallel, the Committee’s employees have been invited to work in the organisation of the event, in a form of professional exchange. Most of the time, they will have tasks that are similar to the ones they have in Rio 2016.That is the case of Rio 2016 Broadcast Integration Specialist Mauricio Casé, who will be part of the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) team – the official organisation responsible for the competitions’ television and radio coverage – during Sochi 2014.
“For OBS, I’ll work supporting licenced broadcasters directly at the competition site. It’ll be very interesting because at Rio 2016, I actually work with the interface between the Committee and OBS. Therefore, it’ll be very important to gain this experience as part of the OBS team and see how they work and what they need from the organising committee. I went to London 2012 as part of the Observers Programme and I learned a lot. Since then, I’ve grown a lot professionally so I believe this time I’ll take a more mature and focused look at what I need to bring back to our preparations for 2016”, he says.