RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 24, (AFP): Rio will be the safest city in the world during the 2016 Olympics, organisers said on Monday after a minute’s silence for the victims of the Paris attacks and a signing ceremony for the French language to be used during the Games.
Despite growing concerns that the Games will become a target for terrorist attacks, Rio 2016 Communications Director Mario Andrada insisted security would be at a maximum for the Aug 5-21 sporting extravaganza.
“Rio is going to be the safest city in the world during the Olympics,” he said.
“Security teams are already prepared for this type of event and there are already the intelligence services to protect people, the athletes, the Games. We’re going to communicate with the population to reassure people,” he added.
During a special ceremony the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also signed an agreement ensuring that French would be an official language for the 2016 Games along with English, as it has been at all modern Olympics.
Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango, who was chosen by the International Francophone Committee as their Olympic ambassador, said the tribute showed the world that they were united behind France.
“It is precisely against this (terrorism) that we need events like this, to bring people together, to have common dreams for unity,” Dibango told AFP.