Campaigners angry at construction of the golf course being built for next year's Olympics, which they claim will damage the environment, confronted International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach here today.
The leader of the small, but vocal group of protesters, a woman who identified herself only as Sandra and claimed to be a teacher, burst into the lobby of the five-star hotel opposite Copacabana beach where the IOC Executive Board were wrapping up their three-day meeting.
Blowing a whistle and shouting, the Brazilian woman addressed the international group of journalists, having successfully forced her way into the plush lobby of the hotel, even slapping one security guard around the head after he tried to stop her.
"What kind of legacy will we get from these Games?" she screamed in Portuguese.
"They are destroying the environment."
The woman was later given the opportunity of telling IOC communications director Mark Adams about her concerns.
Adams spent half-an-hour with her, speaking to her through a translator, and promised the IOC would look into her complaints.
But, even after meeting Adams, the group continued to picket the hotel and waited for Bach, who left the hotel after the Executive Board meeting on his way to visit a local fencing club.
"IOC go home!" they yelled at him as he emerged surrounded by police and securtiy men.
But, rather than avoid them, Bach approached them and offered to talk to the group about the golf course, a project beset by delays and legal problems after the sport was added to the programme for Rio 2016 following a 104-year absence from the Olympics.
Bach was greeted with banners reading "ecological holocaust", "Thomas Bach is a nature killer" and "The city is not for sale".
"We are ready for a dialogue with everybody," said Bach.
Other protesters claimed Rio 2016 officials "are cutting down 100-year-old trees - that's a crime" and criticised city authorities for their attempts to clear up pollution in Guanabara Bay which will host the sailing events.
Other protesters claimed they represented protest groups "Occupy Golf" and "Occupy Marina da Gloria", host of the sailing events.
Bach claimed, though, that legacy projects would leave Rio de Janeiro a much better city once the Games were over and that most of the improvements were unlikely to have ever taken place if it had not been chosen to stage the event.
"All of this without the Games would not have happened," Bach said.
"So, again, it's clear evidence what a positive legacy these Games are leaving in the infrastructure, the social, and in the environmental areas."
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