12 June 2013
The Rio de Janeiro stadium due to host the 2016 Olympics track and field events will remain closed until 2015 after a study revealed the roof could collapse when exposed to high wind.
City authorities said last Friday that the Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium will take nearly 18 months to fix, reports Associated Press, via ESPN.
"There is a need to reinforce the roof’s structure so the stadium can be used, taking into consideration the proper requirements of safety," said Sebastiao Andrade, an engineer who participated in the study.
However, local Olympic organisers remain confident that the stadium, known locally as the Engenhao, will be ready in time for pre-Games test events.
Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium. (Credit: Dodoedo/Wikimedia)
The heavily over-budget $200m stadium was built for the 2007 Pan American Games and had been the city’s main sporting venue for the past three years while the Maracana was renovated for the upcoming Confederations Cup and next year’s FIFA World Cup.
The Macarana, where the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics will take place, has now been reopened but remains unavailable for local clubs.
Alexandre Pinto, the city’s official in charge of public construction, admitted there had been "several mistakes" with the whole project and called the closure a "tragedy".