Work starts on Deodoro Olympic Park, the second largest Rio 2016 venue cluster

Nine venues, including some built for 2007 Pan-American Games, will host 11 Olympic and four Paralympic sports

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Trucks and diggers have moved in to start work on Deodoro Olympic Park  (Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro)
Trucks and diggers have moved in to start work on Deodoro Olympic Park (Photo: Rio 2016/Alex Ferro)

Rio’s city government announced on Thursday (3 July) that work has begun on the construction of Deodoro Olympic Park, the second largest cluster of Rio 2016 Games venues. Three of the nine venues in the complex already exist, a legacy of the 2007 Pan-American Games and the 2011 World Military Games. Deodoro will host 11 Olympic and four Paralympic sports when Rio stages the first edition of the Games in South America.

“This is a very important day,” said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman. “We are very proud to see work start on Deodoro Olympic Park. It underlines the important legacy that the Pan-American Games left to Rio, and the new confidence in the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today, Brazil has a highly positive image due to the FIFA World Cup and I’m certain that our Games will be no different.”

The three existing venues – the National Shooting Centre, National Equestrian Centre and Modern Pentathlon Aquatics Centre – will be renovated, while four new permanent venues – the Deodoro Arena, Olympic Hockey Centre, Olympic BMX Centre and Olympic Whitewater Stadium – will form part of the sporting legacy that the Games will leave for the city. Two other temporary structures will also be created – the Rugby and Modern Pentathlon Arena, and the Olympic Mountain Bike Park. Click on this map to see which sports will be in which venues in the Deodoro Olympic Park.

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Artists' impressions show how the Deodoro venues will look once work is completed (Photo: Rio 2016/Patricia da Matta)

The Olympic Mountain Bike Park, Olympic BMX Centre and Olympic Whitewater Stadium will form the X-Park, with the latter two venues remaining after the Games in an action sports complex that will be used by high-performance athletes and the general public.

While the Olympic Hockey Centre will be a new venue (with 2,400 permanent and 12,500 temporary seats), Deodoro already has top-level hockey training facilities, another legacy of the 2007 Pan-American Games, which are used by the Brazilian national team.

For the tender process, the Deodoro site was divided into two regions, separated by a railway line. The works, coordinated by the Rio city government, have started in the north region, which includes eight venues – all except for the National Equestrian Centre. Construction in the south region, where the three equestrian disciplines (dressage, jumping and eventing) will take place, will begin by August. The Deodoro Olympic Park works are due to be completed in the first half of 2016.

The first construction phase will focus on common and circulation areas in the X-Park and support buildings, with infrastructure works and ground clearing. Next, work will start on the Deodoro Arena and the renovation of the National Shooting Centre.

With work well underway on the main Olympic Park, in Barra da Tijuca, preparations for the Games are gaining momentum with just over two years to go until the opening ceremony on 5 August 2016. Meanwhile, 38 per cent of the permanent venues are already in operation.

See the gallery below for images that show how Deodoro Olympic Park will look once finished:

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