Rio 2016 delays picking golf course designer until March
Friday, 03 February 2012
February 3 - Rio 2016 have announced that they will not be revealing the winning designer of the first Olympic golf course in over 100 years until early March, despite the announcement having been scheduled for today.
Eight leading golf course designers, including legends of the game such as Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, have been shortlisted to build the new course at Reserva de Marapendi (pictured) in Barra da Tijuca where Olympic golf for the first time since St Louis in 1904.
Nicklaus is teaming on his project with Sweden-born Annika Sorenstam, one of most successful female golfers in history, while Norman has a partnership with retired Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa, the top-ranked female golfer in the world for over three years.
Gary Player Design, Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Hanse Golf Design, Hawtree Ltd, Nicklaus Design, Renaissance Golf, Robert Trent Jones II and Thomson-Perrett Golf Course Architects all delivered their plans to a panel of judges this week that included officials from formed by representatives of the International Golf Federation (IGF), Rio 2016, Rio City Hall and the Rio 2016 Golf Advisory Committee (GAC).
Following the presentations, the eight designers were expecting to hear who had won the right to design the prestigious course.
But Rio 2016 announced in a statement that the successful designer won't be announced until early next month when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) visits the Brazilian city for a project review.
"The Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games has completed the interview stage of the phase three in the international contest for the selection of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games golf course design," said the statement.
"Rio 2016 was extremely pleased with the high quality of the eight proposals submitted.
"The contest winner and the design will be announced in March upon the visit of the International Olympic Committee to Rio de Janeiro for the fifth Rio 2016 project review meeting."
It is not the first time that the eagerly anticipated announcement has been delayed as the winner's announcement was originally scheduled for December 2011 before being pushed back to 2012.
Part of the reason for this was because the deadline for proposals was extended last year when none of the bidders initially had the proper legal and financial documentation.
The new course itself is approximately five kilometres from the Athletes' Village and seven kilometres from the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC).
It will be an 18-hole golf course staging both the men's and women's Olympic golf competitions and after the Games, the course will be managed by a private operator with the chief purpose of promoting golf in Brazil and in South America
The successful candidate will be awarded the prestigious contract to develop the design of the course at a fixed price of $300,000 (£191,000/€217,000).
The sport of golf was reinstated into the Olympics by the IOC at their Session in Copenhagen in 2009 and it has a spot guaranteed in the 2020 Olympics.
However, a good impression at Rio 2016 will be critical in keeping the sport in the Olympic beyond that because another IOC vote on adding or removing sports on the Olympic programme is scheduled for 2017.
January 2012: Golf greats pitch designs for Rio 2016
October 2011: Rio 2016 launch international contest to design Olympic Games golf course
September 2011: Legal dispute throws Rio 2016 Olympic golf course into uncertainty
July 2011: Rio 2016 chooses venue for golf course