The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has described his delegation’s visit to Rio de Janeiro, venue of the forthcoming Olympic Games in Brazil as very necessary.
During the three-day visit, Dalung was conducted round facilities and the Games Village where Team Nigeria athletes will reside throughout the duration of the Games.
According to the Special Assistant (Media) to the minister, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the visit was necessary to enable the ministry plan ahead for the games.
“Nigeria will be taking part in just a few sports and the venues are scattered all over Rio. Our visit to the various venues, some of which are 90 per cent ready, was very essential to enable us to plan for our athletes.
“What we saw gave us a first-hand information on what to expect in terms of movement, arrivals, accreditation and distance between games venues and athletes village as well as mode of transportation,” Dalung was quoted to have remarked on return to Abuja from the trip.
The Nigerian delegation and their Malaysian counterparts jointly visited the Riocentro Convention Centre which will host badminton, table tennis and weightlifting events as well as the Carioca Arena 1&2 which will host basketball, judo and wrestling.
The delegation also visited the Maracana Stadium which will host the opening and closing ceremonies and football matches and the Olympic Stadium for track and field events.
On the last day, there were presentations on NOC relations and services, sports entries, arrival and departure of athletes and officials, accommodation, ticketing, accreditation, hospitality House, medical services and dignitaries.
The Rio Olympic Games is scheduled to start on August 5 through 21, 2016.
More than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees, including first timers, Kosovo and South Sudan, are scheduled to be part of the global sports fiesta.
Nigeria will compete in athletics, canoeing, table tennis, men’s football, wrestling, power-lifting and men’s basketball.
A five-man delegation comprising the minister, President and Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel and Tunde Popoola, as well as the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Alhassan Yakmut and the Director, Federations and Elite Athletes Department of the Federal Minstry of Youth and Sports, Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, visited the facilities to be used by Nigerian athletes during the Games.