Nawal El Moutawakel, pictured in between Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes (left) and Organising Committee chief Carlos Nuzman (right), has delivered a message of confidence ahead of Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) official Nawal El Moutawakel has predicted that the legacy of Rio 2016 will benefit "local citizens and the whole country for decades" in a message designed to boost confidence with 25 days-to-go until the Opening Ceremony.

El Moutawakel, the Moroccan who is chair of the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission, was speaking following her final pre-Games visit to the host city.

“Rio 2016 is ready to welcome the world," she claimed.

"I have been visiting Rio regularly since 2009, and I love the Cariocas, and the Brazilians in general. 

"They are a very warm and hospitable people, who know how to welcome guests and how to live life to the fullest.

"Spectators visiting Rio this August will be able to fully experience that spirit, as they go to the venues, visit the live sites and discover the city. 

"The Cariocas are going to be celebrating, and this means that Rio de Janeiro will be the place to be this August. 

"The Brazilians have also transformed the city through a legacy vision that they have made a reality.

"Not just by delivering all the venues and services that the Games require on time, but also by creating a legacy that will benefit local citizens and the whole country for decades - the success of these Games will be their success.”

Nawal El Moutawakel has predicted the legacy of the Olympic Games will be felt
Nawal El Moutawakel has predicted the legacy of the Olympic Games will be felt "for decades" ©Getty Images

Her words were circulated in an IOC press release today which sought to downplay many of the problems surrounding the final stages of preparations. 

The much-maligned metro line four - due to link the main Olympic hub at Barra de Tijuca with the city centre and due to open just three days before the Opening Ceremony - will be "fully operational" for spectators at the Games, she said.

Testing has already begun on the line, with trains running the full length of the extension, although numerous concerns remain.

All venues are "ready for action", it is also claimed, including the much delayed velodrome and the equestrian centre which were being "monitored closely by the organisers".

The risk of Zika, the mosquito-borne virus which has been linked to a condition in which babies are born with small heads and underdeveloped brains, was also downplayed, with it pointed out that the drier and cooler climate in the Brazilian winter reduces the number of mosquitoes.

Work being undertaken to minimise water pollution risks at the Guanabara Bay sailing venue was also highlighted, as well as the 85,000 strong security force expected to be in operation during both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

El Moutawakel has promised to jump into the Bay to prove the waters are clean.

“Our journey is now entering its most critical phase: Operation of the Games," added Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman.

"We are obviously very proud that we are ready to welcome the world and we can also see the transformation of Rio everywhere we go.

“A lot of work lies ahead of us but we have plenty of energy. 

"We will deliver great Games.”

Guanabara Bay water pollution was one concern surrounding Rio 2016 which the IOC attempted to address today ©Getty Images
Guanabara Bay water pollution was one concern surrounding Rio 2016 which the IOC attempted to address today ©Getty Images

Sporting officials are desperate for people to get behind the Games, with IOC member Richard Peterkin tweeting today: "Sports media. Time to stop throwing shade on Rio 2016 and accept that it's going to happen come hell or highwater. Wait for the postmortems".

Numerous other concerns remain, however, with police threatening strikes and holding up a banner welcoming tourists "to hell" at the main international airport last month.

Crime levels are surging, with a dead body washed up on Copacabana Bay close to the beach volleyball venue, while overlay work at many venues is still continuing.