January 8, 2008 / 4:45 PM / 11 years ago

Rio unveils bid details for 2016 Games

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Rio de Janeiro unveiled details of its bid to stage the 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday with officials saying they had gone for a more modest approach than their previous attempt four years ago.

Leaders of the bid said the existing Joao Havelange stadium would be used to stage the showcase athletics events while ambitious plans to expand the city’s metro were shelved in favor of a high-capacity network of bus lanes.

Olympic vehicles would be powered by natural gas or biofuels.

Plans also include the demolition of the city’s Jacarepagua racetrack, once used for Formula One, to make way for an Olympic park which would be the base for a number of venues.

Jacarepagua last hosted Formula One in 1989, a race won by Britain’s Nigel Mansell.

Rio, which would become the first South American city to host the Olympics, previously bid for the 2004 and 2012 games, failing to make the final shortlist on each occasion.

The city has decided to press ahead with another attempt even though Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup, with Rio almost certain to be among the venues.

Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo, Doha and Baku are also bidding for the Games.

Rio de Janeiro mayor Cesar Maia said that this time the city would mostly use facilities built for last year’s Pan-American Games and which he said were up to Olympic standard.

These included the Joao Havelange stadium, which would be enlarged.

“Our bid four years ago was competitive but it was based on possibilities, we had very little that was concrete,” he said.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, said that 56 percent of the planned sporting facilities already existed. He said the budget on sporting venues was initially $508 million.

Nuzman said he did not believe the proximity to the 2014 World Cup would be a disadvantage, pointing out that both Mexico and Germany staged the two events in two-year intervals.

Editing by Alison Wildey

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