Rio has been hit by empty stadiums, long queues, security threats and a green dive pool – and now even the volunteers are staying away, organisers have admitted.
The shambles of this year’s Olympics in Brazil continued today as the Maracana appeared half empty for the track and field events where Usain Bolt appeared in the 100m heats.
But organisers have today admitted that the volunteer situation requires some ‘fine tuning’ – as only 20 per cent of helpers have actually shown up in some venues.
Organisers are having issues with staffing Olympic venues with volunteers, who signed up and accepted their freebies at the start and never came back.
There’s been empty seats, poor ticket sales and green pools – now even the volunteers aren’t showing up to the Rio Olympics (file photo)
Organisers are have issues with staffing Olympic venues with the helpers, as some took their freebies at the start and never came back (file photo)
A spokesman for the Rio 2016 Organising Committee said: ‘Volunteers are one of the things we are fine-tuning.’
Another source said the average turnout for helpers was just over 70 per cent at the Games.
Around 70,000 volunteers were given a ‘goodie bag’ with t-shirts, wristbands in a starter pack as well as training, free English lessons, uniform, meals, transport around the city and a certificate of participation.
But organisers have admitted that some who have enjoyed the benefits haven’t fulfilled their responsibilities to steward the event.
One helper was told she had been selected months ago – but then received no further instructions until the Games started.
Hedylamar Almeida Mussons, from Spain, then received an email on Wednesday asking her be a steward at the golf venue.
But Ms Mussons was still in Spain awaiting confirmation of where and when to arrive in Rio.
Andreia Barros, 30, from São Paulo, applied to be a volunteer and received a letter from the Olympic committee in late July inviting her to work at the Maracanã venue.
She accepted, but is still awaiting further instructions. She said: ‘I’ve taken off 15 days to dedicate myself to being a volunteer and unfortunately I’m here, without a schedule, at home,’ she said.
The organisers of the Games have come under huge scrutiny since the tournament started last week
High ticket prices were blamed for the poor ticket sales and poor attendances at many events
The organisers of the Games have come under huge scrutiny since the tournament started last week.
Olympic chiefs admitted the Rio dive pool was turned green by algae in the water.
Twitter erupted as the synchronised diving final turned into a farce as the pool looked like a dirty pond.
Confusion: Bronze medal winner Tom Daley noticed the pool had changed colour, tweeting: ‘Ermm… what happened?!’
The pool water looked more like it had been imported from the Amazon than pristine pool water. Left, how the water appeared on Tuesday morning, and right, how it looked on Tuesday afternoon
BBC commentators covering the 10 metre platform final told viewers: ‘Do not adjust your sets’ as they were left wondering what was going on.
And Team GB bronze medalist Tom Daley tweeted: ‘Ermm… what happened?’
High ticket prices were blamed for the poor ticket sales and poor attendances at many events.
It emerged today that British athletics fans can still make the 11,400 mile round trip to watch red-hot favourite Usain Bolt in the men’s 100m final tomorrow night – by forking out just £2,561.
Tickets are still available for the hugely-anticipated event and can be purchased on the official Olympics website for just 350 Brazilian dollars – or £85
Empty seats inside the Olympic stadium during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Games in Rio
Tickets are still available for the hugely-anticipated event and can be purchased on the official Olympics website for just 350 Brazilian dollars – or £85.
Huge numbers of empty seats remained all around the Olympic Stadium for the first evening session of the athletics – on which organisers blamed on Brazil’s lack of local heroes.
Action in the athletics kicked off on Friday morning with a world record for Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana in the women’s 10,000 metres and Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill opening her defence of the heptathlon title she won in London.
But media outnumbered fans at the start of competition, and by lunchtime the 56,000-seat stadium was barely a quarter full.
Organisers claimed, however, that 58 per cent of available tickets for the first session were sold, with 65 per cent sold for the second session later.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is the red-hot favourite to win the men’s 100m final tomorrow night
Bolt, 29, narrowly beat America’s Justin Gatlin (left) in the men’s 100m final at the World Championships in Beijing, China, last year
The stands were largely empty at the Olympic Stadium during the opening day of the track and field events on Friday
The Games’ chief spokesman has admitted to concern at the lack of interest in watching events
British cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy and BBC presenter Clare Balding were discussing empty seats at the Olympic Games.
The pair were discussing the empty seats at the velodrome on BBC and encouraged fans who were already in Brazil to head to Rio and buy a ticket.
Sir Chris, 40, was quick to point out that there were plenty of seats in the arena and the Games’ chief spokesman has admitted to concern at the lack of interest in watching events.
The cheapest tickets available, in category D, costs just 350 Brazilian dollars – or £85
The outbound flight leaves London Heathrow tomorrow at 12.20pm and arrives in Brazil at 8pm local time
Justin Gatlin (pictured) is expected to reach the final and is second favourite to win the race
Meanwhile, the much anticipated track and field events began on Friday at a near empty Olympic Stadium.
FULL LIST OF EVENTS ON SUNDAY NIGHT IN RIO
Men’s Long Jump: victory ceremony
Men’s High Jump: qualifying round, groups A and B
Women’s 400m: semi-finals
Women’s Triple Jump: final
Men’s 100m: semi-finals
Women’s 100m: victory ceremony
Women’s 1500m: semi-finals
Men’s 400m: final
Women’s Heptathlon: victory ceremony
Men’s 100m: final
The 46,931-seater stadium was a swathe of empty blue seats and booths stocked with tickets were largely quiet.
Rio 2016 has been plagued by a lack of interest from the Brazilian public and security fears have prevented an influx of fans.
Anti-government protests which have focused on the Olympics and the dire Brazilian economic situation have also hampered interest in the games.
But fans who snap up the last-remaining tickets for tonight’s event will also be treated to the women’s heptahlon victory ceremony – and may get a chance to see British star Jessica Ennis-Hill if she retains her gold medal.
Supporters will also see the men’s long jump victory ceremony before high jump athletes battle it out in the qualifying rounds.
Also on show is the women’s 400m semi-finals, the women’s triple jump final, the men’s 100m semi-finals and the women’s 100m victory ceremony.
All of the events lead up to men’s 100m final.
But just before, the male 400m runners will battle it out for the gold medal and the women’s 1500m semi-finals will also take place during the same night.