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06/05/2011 | Social | Vilas Olímpicas

Ilha do Governador’s Olympic Village

The project will have a public school with 13 classrooms, a cafeteria, a covered multi-sport court with locker rooms and landscaping work


Even those who have walked by there for years could never imagine what is hidden behind the enormous wall erected along part of the road Estrada Rio Jequiá in the neighborhood of Ilha do Governador. After nine years of stifled negotiations, the 2,000-m² terrain, previously a military area now granted to the Rio de Janeiro City Government, will constitute the space for the Ilha do Governador Olympic Village.

The project includes the construction of a track, Semi-Olympic pool, soccer field with synthetic grass, and a covered gymnasium with a multi-purpose sports court and locker rooms for teachers, employees and users. The space will also have an exercise area with workout devices.

If the view on the other side of the street is currently just a grey, graffiti-painted wall, the four grandchildren of homemaker Mônica Serafim won’t have to walk more than 20 steps once the Olympic Village is completed. For now, however, the children have to be content with their short rides along the bike path, squeezed in between the road and the wall.

– It will be great, since it will bring several benefits for residents. We don’t have a leisure area. There is no activity here in this field, which is used for nothing, just gathering mosquitoes. I have lived here for 15 years and it has always been this way. If the village becomes a reality, it will be great for the children to have an extracurricular activity, not to mention the advantage of being in front of our home – said Serafim, recalling that the closest option for the children is the Cocotá Landfill Area, located some 2km away.

Terreno Terrain where the Olympic Village will be built on Ilha do Governador

The goal of the Rio de Janeiro City Government is for the population to be able to use the space in a more ample sense, which will extend beyond the informal games on the two small, dusty earth fields currently abandoned in the middle of the brush.

Physical Education teacher Cristine Ottoni – who for the past nine years has offered swimming and water gymnastics classes to the elderly and speech therapy, psychology and physical therapy to children with special needs – is optimistic about the arrival of the Olympic Village to the region and is already making plans.

– The Afin (‘Inclusive Physical Activity’) Project has 500 students enrolled and 1,500 on its waiting list, which we not longer have the means to assist. I believe that having the Olympic Village here on Ilha do Governador will be wonderful. The population really needs projects like this one. If possible, I would like to use it to be able to assist more people. It will benefit children, youth and adults, and I believe that it will help people stay away from drugs too – said Ottoni, who for the past six years has used the facilities of the Brazilian Navy Radio Station, which neighbors the space where the Olympic Village will be built.

Born and raised on Ilha do Governador, Vice Mayor Victor Accyoli confesses that he is anxious to see the start of the construction work for the new park.

– Ever since I was younger, I have heard about the construction of this Olympic Village that is now finally becoming a reality. It is a project that will benefit the entire area, and even more directly the population here of the community of Nossa Senhora das Graças (better known as ‘Boogie Woogie’) – said Accyoli.

The project also includes the construction of a public school with 13 classrooms, a covered multi-sport court with locker rooms and landscaping work, in addition to installations for the secretary’s office, pantry area and cafeteria. The public school students will also be able to use the installations for their physical education classes.

According to RioUrbe, the entity tied to the Municipal Department of Public Works, it is estimated that the Ilha do Governador Olympic Village will be ready in up to 18 months after the start of the work.

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