Rio Olympics Budget Cut 30 Percent

In response to Brazil’s economic crisis

The cuts follow a widespread economic crisis in the country and affect the games’ infrastructure and volunteer numbers. (José Fernandes Jr. / Flickr)
Photo: José Fernandes Jr. / Flickr

The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee announced on Monday that it will reduce its budget for next year’s Olympics by as much as 30 percent, reports the BBC. The decision, which affects the games’ infrastructure and volunteer numbers, follows a widespread economic crisis in Brazil.

“The days of lavish spending are over,” said Mario Andrada, director of communications for Rio 2016, according to the BBC. “We need to be creative in the way we find these savings.”

While the games are privately funded, the BBC reports that any overages would be billed to the Brazilian government. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, initially budgeted at $12 billion, eventually cost host country Russia $51 billion, according to Bloomberg.

According to Andrada, the games themselves will not be affected—15,000 athletes are expected to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics combined—but the opening ceremony will be scaled back, along with a halt to contract work for video production and an increased reliance on tents instead of permanent structures. The games’ volunteer program will also be scaled back from an initial 70,000 volunteers to 60,000.

The Rio Olympics begin on August 5.

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