January 23 - Brazil's Minister of Sports Aldo Rebelo has promised that Rio de Janeiro will stage an Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016 "that are as high as the expectations of the world and higher" despite fears over the event being ready on time.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has previously expressed concerns with their vice-president and Rio 2016 Coordination Commission chair Nawal El Moutawakel having warned that preparations were falling behind as she recently revealed "the timelines for delivery are already very tight and the amount of work to be completed is considerable".
But Rebelo claimed that Rio 2016 will surpass all expectations and that the city will actually benefit dramatically from hosting matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup two years earlier.
"We have the advantage for the Olympics of Rio hosting matches in the 2014 World Cup," he told insidethegames today
"Our expectation is that one event actually helps in organising the other.
"The communications and infrastructure [for Rio 2016] will have already been put in place for the 2014 World Cup which helps us a lot.
"Another example is that the Rio Olympics has already garnered more sponsorship than the London Olympics which went against all predictions made.
"The predictions suggested that because of this conflict of interests with the World Cup and the Olympics, Rio would receive less sponsorship than usual for both events but it was actually the opposite.
"There was actually more sponsorship than anticipated for both the World Cup and the Olympics because the events complement each other and there really is no conflict.
"So we are working hard to stage a World Cup and an Olympic Games that are as high as the expectations of the world and higher."
The Brazilian Minister of Sports also claimed that, despite the huge scale of the challenge presented in hosting the World Cup and Olympic and Paralympic Games in the space of two years, the country is not daunted as it has experience of staging major events.
Rebelo highlighted the annual Rio Carnival as one such event.
The world famous festival is considered the biggest carnival in the world where around two million people per day flood the streets of the city to get involved and watch the spectacular parades.
"Rio is actually used to hosting event of huge size," said Rebelo.
"The Carnival in Rio attracts more tourists than the Olympic Games does when it is staged.
"So we do have this experience."
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August 2013: Brazil will meet expectations for Olympics and World Cup, insists Sports Minister