Brazil president Michel Temer’s press office informed that he will not attend the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games, which will be held on the evening of August 21 at the world-renowned Maracanã stadium.
Regarded as one of the main masterminds of the rather questionable impeachment process of President Dilma Rousseff, which a large share of the population considers a coup, Temer was fearful of the public’s reaction to him in the opening ceremony, held on August 5.
He reportedly requested his name not to be mentioned in the speeches of the authorities who spoke in the ceremony. His only appearance was in the end of the ceremony, when he had to declare the Games open, and reactions were as bad as expected: Temer was booed during his entire brief speech no longer than half a minute.
Since the beginning of the Games, Brazilians have carried out protests, holding out signs with “Out with Temer” written on them in several competitions.
At first, the police repressed protesters, even removing some of them forcibly from the arenas. Days later, though, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that repressing the peaceful protests was unconstitutional.
With prospects of more signs and hostility from the crowd, Temer decided not to attend the closing ceremony. However, his office said the acting President did not consider attending the ceremony in the first place.
During the closing ceremony, the host city’s mayor transfers the Olympic Games to a representative of the next host city – in this case, Japan’s capital Tokyo. The president’s presence was deemed unnecessary.
Japan’s representative in the closing ceremony will be Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Though Temer will not attend the ceremony, he may meet with PM Abe.
It is not known whether Temer will attend the Paralympic Games’ opening or closing ceremonies. The Paralympic Games runs from September 7-18.
Members of the Australian Olympic team were robbed during a fire evacuation at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Village, in the latest of a series of complaints about the athletes’ housing complex. The Australian building was evacuated Friday after a fire in the basement, which was likely started by a cigarette.
The evacuation of around 100 people lasted about 30 minutes while the fire was dealt with, according to Australian media sources.
A spokesperson for the Australian Olympic Committee said two laptops and some clothing were taken during that time.
But athletes are less concerned about the theft, and more concerned about the lack of fire alarms; people were notified about the blaze by word of mouth.
Warren Potent, a veteran shooter, apparently slept through the entire ordeal according to AAP, because he didn’t wake up when someone knocked on his door.
Obviously that is completely unacceptable that a) the fire alarm was disabled and b) that if it had to be, that we weren’t warned about that,” Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller complained.
The team now has fire wardens for each floor in the 18-story building, and Chiller is warning other countries to be wary.
“I spoke to a couple of my colleagues, three or four other NOCs (national Olympic committees) last night, and just said ‘look, check your basement, see what rubbish is still left there,'” she said.
Last week, Chiller kept all 700 Australian athletes and staff out of the Athletes Village for at least two days, citing electrical and plumbing problems in the sprawling complex.
“I have never experienced a village in this state – or lack of state – of readiness at this point in time,” she said at the time.
Rio Olympic organizers say the water and gas leaks, blocked toilets, and electrical faults may have been caused by isolated cases of sabotage.
The Athlete’s Village is a sprawling complex of 31 buildings that is supposed to house all 18,000 athletes and staff from around the world during the summer Olympics.
The Argentine delegation also complained about similar defects and possible cause of accidents such as exposed electrical wiring, gas leaks and blocked toilets. The delegation temporarily moved to nearby rented flats.
As a result of the incident the Australian Olympic Committee has demanded Rio 2016 organizers enforce a strict ban on smoking in the athletes’ village after saying a fire in the basement of their building was probably caused by a cigarette tossed into rubbish.
Ms Chiller said it was also “completely unacceptable” that a previously tested fire alarm system had been switched off at the time without the Australians being informed.
“The fire did seem to be accidental, probably a cigarette thrown into rubbish in the building,” Chiller told a news conference on Saturday.
“We have asked Rio 2016 to enforce a very strict non-smoking policy. Every athlete’s village in the Olympic Games should be non-smoking so we’ve asked for that to be enforced because at the moment it’s not.”
Gold for Pole Vault
Brazilian Thiago Braz da Silva, 22, won the gold medal and beat the Olympic record in the men’s pole vault in a thrilling duel against Frenchman Renaud Laevilleni. It is the second time Brazil bags a gold medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Da Silva and Laevilleni competed for the gold after tying at 5.93m. Laevilleni pulled off a 5.98m and whereas the Brazilian vaulter did 6.03m, setting a new Olympic record.
Laevilleni is the owner of the 6.15m world record in the category. He surpassed Serguei Bubka’s 6.15m in 1993. The bronze was sealed by US American Sam Kendricks, who leaped 5.85m.
According to the Brazilian Olympic Committee’s website, Da Silva attends his practice sessions in Italy, with Ukrainian Vitaly Petrov, who was Serguei Bubka and Yelena Isinbayeva’s coach.
In the last two seasons, he remained among the world’s top ten in the sport, with results showing increasing progress over the years. In 2010, he had leaped 5.10m in São Paulo; 5.55m in Spain, in 2012; and 5.73 in the Czech Republic, in 2014. In 2015, he leaped 5.92m in Azerbaijan.