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Rio pledge historic Olympics but concerns remain

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Rio‘s Olympic organizers promised a historic Games but had to field a series of questions from concerned Olympians on areas ranging from security and transportation to pollution with just over 48 hours left until the opening ceremony.

"Rio is ready to deliver history," organizing committee chief Carlos Nuzman told the session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday.

Rio is hosting the first Games in South America August 5-21 against the backdrop of its biggest economic crisis since the 1930s and a political crisis with president Dilma Rousseff facing an impeachment trial at the end of the month.

Construction delays, financial constraints and environmental problems have hampered the preparations, and various IOC members voiced concern about traffic and transportation problems for teams as well as long lines at security checks even before the start of competition.

Local organizers pledged improvement and flexibility, and IOC president Thomas Bach said he remains upbeat.

"We see the reality in this country, the difficulties. We have always been in solidarity with the organizing committee and the Brazilians. Now we have to together deliver a great Games in great unity and in great cooperation," Bach said.

IOC coordination committee chair Nawal el Moutawakel spoke of "a historical moment we will cherish for a long time" and pledged "a celebration of sports and of life in a away only Cariocas (Rio locals) can do."

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