By Zjan Shirinian

Agberto Guimaraes, Nawal El Moutawakel, Thomas Bach, Carlos Nuzman and Bernard Rajzman toured some of the Rio 2016 venues ©Rio 2016/Alex FerroJanuary 22 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has praised Rio de Janerio's efforts to use the 2016 Games as a catalyst for change during his first visit to the city since taking up his post.

After meeting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, he toured Games venues, met local leaders and spoke to those involved in making the Olympics and Paralympics happen.

After the visit he said: "The Rio 2016 venues will be a magnificent backdrop for the sporting exploits of the athletes in 2016.

"And I was also impressed to hear about how Rio 2016 is being used as a catalyst by the city and region to improve the quality of life for many local people, as they use the fixed deadline of the Games to deliver numerous infrastructure improvements that will serve the people for generations to come."

He was joined on the visit by IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC Mmember in Brazil Bernard Rajzman, and the President of Rio 2016 Carlos Nuzman.

His tour of venues included the Olympic Park, the Olympic Village, Copacabana, the João Havelange Olympic Stadium, Marina da Glória - which will host the sailing events - and the Rio 2016 golf course.

After his tour, President Bach met with Rio State Governor Sergio Cabral and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes.

His visit ended with a meeting with Rio 2016's Board of Directors and Executives, and an address to the entire staff involved in the Games, followed by an informal question and answer session.

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