By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Rio_2016_Olympic_VillageDecember 27 - A contract to build the Athletes Village for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics has been signed between Rio City Hall and construction company Carvalho Hosken.

Built in an area of 75 hectares in Recreio dos Bandeirantes, close to Riocentro, the Village will comprise 34 12-storey buildings.

Altogether, 2.448 three and four bedroom, high standard apartments will be offered.

All units will have a balcony, large dinning and living rooms and kitchen, besides utility room, Rio 2016 officials promise.

The Olympic Village location guarantees that 46 per cent of the Olympic athletes will be staying under 10 minutes of their training and competition facilities and 73 per cent under 25 minutes, they claim.

"I am proud to say that the IOC members are impressed with what the Rio 2016 Olympic Village will be like, and have already said that this will be the most beautiful one in the history of the Olympic Games," said Carlos Nuzman, the President of Rio 2016. 

The signing took place at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Park, which was built for the 2007 Pan-American Games and which will be the site of the aquatics competitions during the 2016 Olympics and Paralmpics. 

Construction has already started at the City of Rock Olympic Park in Recreio dos Bandeirantes, a few meters from where the Olympic Village will be located.

The City Hall will invest R$37 million (£14 million/$22 million) in the construction of the Park, which will be a leisure area for the athletes, integrated to the Olympic Village.

The Park will be inaugurated with the return to the city of the international music festival Rock in Rio, in September 2011. 

The Olympic Park will be built in an area of 250,000 square metres, which will be equipped by the City Hall with elements for sport and leisure, including bicycle paths, a playground, promenades, decks and marina.

"The Rio 2016 Committee and the Governments are working as if the Olympic Games had already started," said Nuzman.

"Every single day, from very early to late at night, all teams are working.

"And that makes us pretty early in our schedule."

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