IOC President Thomas Bach believes the final preparations for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro won’t be affected by the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Brazil’s Senate voted on Thursday to put leftist Rousseff on trial in a historic decision brought on by a deep recession and a corruption scandal that will now confront her successor, Vice President Michel Temer.
Bach said that the Olympics will be a success despite the political crisis that led the Brazilian Senate to vote 55-22 to impeach Rousseff, less than three months before the opening ceremony of the games.
“Preparations for the Olympic Games have now entered into a very operational phase and issues such as these have much less influence than at other stages of organizing the Olympic Games,” Bach said.
The Senate has 180 days to conduct a trial and decide whether Rousseff should be permanently removed from office.
By tradition, the head of state declares the games open during the opening ceremony, which will be held Aug. 5 at the Maracana Stadium.
“There is strong support for the Olympic Games in Brazil and we look forward to working with the new government to deliver successful games in Rio this summer,” Bach said.
“We have seen the great progress being made in Rio de Janeiro and we remain confident about the success of the Olympic Games in August.”
The buildup to the Rio Games – the first in South America – has been clouded not only by the political crisis, but by Brazil’s deep recession, a vast corruption scandal, the Zika virus outbreak and concerns over venue delays and severe water pollution at the locations for Olympic sailing and rowing.
Bach is expected to travel to Rio next month for a firsthand check on preparations.
“The Brazilian people will deliver a memorable Olympic Games full of passion for sport for which they are world renowned,” he said. “It will be a moment for Brazil to show to the world its determination to overcome the present crisis. These will be Brazil’s games.”