Rio Mayor Says What We’re All Thinking: ‘Obviously This Is a City That Has Problems’


The Olympics are now just four days away, and the serious concerns about whether Rio is up to the task of hosting continue to mount.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes is already in damage control mode, blaming an international organizing committee for some of the problems in the Olympic Village. In an interview with Matt Lauer on Today, Paes finally said what we’re all thinking:

“Obviously this is a city that has problems,” Paes admitted to Lauer.

The question is whether Rio will be able to overcome those problems for 17 days on the world stage, and host a relatively smooth Olympics. The mayor is publicly maintaining, for now at least, that they can.

Paes: You look at the beach here in Copacabana. There (were) some reports saying bacteria in the waters of copacabana kills people. The Carioca civilization, the ones that come from Rio, would be all dead if it was true.

Lauer: The water quality in some of the areas is a problem. The government promised to reach certain quality standards, fell short. You said it was a missed opportunity.

Paes: It is a problem in some areas. It’s not a problem for the games. The areas where we are holding the sailing competition … that’s not a problem there. It’s a problem for the city of Rio and a problem we have to solve. But if you look at Copacabana beach … and where rowing is going to be, that’s clean water. It’s safe water. So there won’t be problems

Check out the complete interview above, via NBC, for more of the mayor saying things he’ll probably regret by this time next week.

[image via screengrab]

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo