‘Rio to host greatest ever Olympics’

Rio de Janeiro, April 27 (IANS) Brazil Sports Minister Ricardo Leyser said Rio de Janeiro is on track to host the greatest ever Olympic Games, despite concerns about slow ticket sales and an ongoing political and economic crisis.

In an interview with Xinhua news agency, Leyser vowed Rio would offer a “harmonious climate” that guaranteed a memorable experience for fans and athletes.

“Brazilians have endured many crises and we have always worked together to overcome our problems, guaranteeing that the country resumes its path toward economic growth and income distribution,” Leyser said.

“This will be no exception. The crisis will be overcome and the Olympics will take place in a harmonious climate with many records falling. Brazil will be well placed in the medals tally – in both the Olympics and Paralympics.”

An impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff and the country’s worst recession in decades have led to fears of apathy among Brazilians towards the Olympics.

With 100 days to go before the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium, about half of the 7.5 million Olympic tickets remain unsold.

But Leyser said interest from fans would improve as the Games drew nearer.

“There is still time for people to get excited about the Games,” he said.



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