Despite gaining ticket sales for the upcoming Rio Paralympics, organizers are still worried about the funding (or lack thereof) for the games. Salaries for security, travel tickets for delegations and other logistical requirements are reportedly in dire need of more resources to be able to effectively and safely hold the event.
Just last month, slow moving tickets sales had Rio organizers worried so much that canceling the games had already become an option. But things began to pick up for the organizers and to date, more than a million tickets have already been sold for the event.
But there are still many concerns for the Paralympics, most especially with regard to the security for the games. As sources reported, shortly after the Olympic games closed last August 21, hundreds of staff and employees of the Rio games had been terminated ahead of schedule because of insufficient funds.
“The only thing they told me is that there was no money, and since the tickets were not selling, the Paralympics could not happen,” an unnamed former employee disclosed to Fox News Latino.
This adds on to the concern of funding for the travel expenses of delegations, as well, which is supposedly subsidized by the local organizing committee. To date, many countries have still not received the travel grants, after months and months of delay, according to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). An IPC spokesperson, Craig Spence, clarified last Friday that the IPC will shoulder the expenses for now and will just be reimbursed by the city of Rio, which has “vowed to provide public money to help fill a funding gap.”
There are also reports that due to the budget cuts of the city, the 15,000-strong armed force deployed during the Olympics, will be reduced to 10,000. Just last week, 200 soldiers were already re-assigned to the Rio Grande do Sul, which is in the Southernmost part of Brazil.
IPC president Philip Craven also recently voiced his dismay to Fox News regarding the Paralympics, saying “Never before in the 56-year history of the Paralympic Games have we faced circumstances like this,” adding “since becoming aware of the full scale of the problem, we have focused all of our efforts on finding solutions to the problems.”
Hopefully, they do.
The Rio Paralympics will have its opening ceremony on September 7 (if everything goes well).
Photo Courtesy: Peter Burgess/ Flickr