Can Rio de Janeiro really handle the 2016 Olympics? for those of us expats who were here to witness the fiasco surrounding the XV Pan American Games in 2007 I think most of us will say probably not; or at the very least they will scrape through by the skin of their teeth as in 2007 by cutting corners and not delivering on many of their overblown promises. I'm hardly alone in this observation, many in the international media share the same view. One is Andrew Downey a regular contributor for Time Magazine. … ing-event/

There was great controversy surrounding erecting of huge walls around many of the PanAm Games event sites; austensibly to hide the surrounding favelas (slums) from view. Many of the facilities weren't even completed as the games opened workers were rushing to slap finishing touches to hide the state of incompletion; several sites even started falling apart as the games took place.

The apartment complexes that were built to house athletes (and for later sale as residential apartments) had major problems which caused many of the future purchasers to take legal action. The promised extension of the Metrô, new Light Rail system and highway project were never built. Most of this escaped the notice of the foreign media, but those of us here in Brazil knew all about it. It was truly embarrassing. Fortunately the rest of the world was blissfully ignorant of what was going on behind the scenes and Brazil escaped without the black eye it could have easily had.

Sad to say that the very same people responsible for the near disaster of PanAm 2007 are the ones responsible for the World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games. It appears that they have not learned anything from the PanAm experience. Now even the much touted billionaire renovation of Maracana Stadium (3rd since 2002)is very much in doubt with the indefinite closure due to structural problems in the roof which could put spectators at grave risk.

A high-speed train linking Rio with São Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport seems like the "Impossible Dream" now as it would take many years to build even if they started construction today. Rio's airports have trouble dealing with the traffic that they have now, I see nothing that will change that. As if all of this isn't bad enough the issue of security is still something that hasn't been effectively dealt with by the either the city/state/federal governments. Many foreign nations (UK,USA and Canada for example)have issued travel advisories warning their citizens that they cannot guarantee the safety of their citizens who choose to travel to Brazil, especially Rio and São Paulo, due to high levels of crime.

So, what's your vote - YES or NO?  Add your comment here

William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Attend at your own peril. Everything here is more or less. Mais or menos as they say. Roofs could fall on you, mugging is highly probable. Everything is last minute. That will do and it won't in most cases. I agree Brazil isn't ready. Oh lets not forget as a dog lover what will happen to all those street dogs in Rio. I guess they will be eliminated. People have been thrown out of their homes by force so what can we expect for the dogs.

Sad but true Jan. I'm really concerned about the probability of a mass round-up of animals in Rio too. I'm sure they won't share your "no kill" policy unfortunately.

The ones who can't speak for themselves always seem to get the short end of the stick anywhere in the world and it goes in spades here in Brazil.