With only nine months to go, the world’s first Olympic Golf Course has been completed in Rio de Janeiro. Mayor Eduardo Paes officially handed over it over 22 November to the game organizers, stating, “the course is ready for the Olympic Games.” After 112 years, the sport will be making an appearance in the 2016 games held in Brazil. The pristine 7,290-yard course lies in the middle of undeveloped land on the Marapendi natural reserve. The links-style course, that seems as though it dropped from the sky, has caused much controversy in the country.

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With only nine months to go, the world’s first Olympic Golf Course has been completed in Rio de Janeiro. Mayor Eduardo Paes officially handed over it over 22 November to the game organizers, stating, “the course is ready for the Olympic Games.”

After 112 years, the sport will be making an appearance in the 2016 games held in Brazil.

The pristine 7,290-yard course lies in the middle of undeveloped land on the Marapendi natural reserve. The links-style course, that seems as though it dropped from the sky, has caused much controversy in the country.

Rio Olympic Games Golf Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the course is built on an environmentally protected area in Rio’s west suburb, Barra da Tijuca. This part of land in which the mega-construction course stands is also a part of the country’s Atlantic Forest, where many endangered species live.

Many are coming to defense of the various plants and animals being affected. Recommendations from The International Golf Federation came to move the new construction to Rio’s existing two golf courses, Itanhanga or São Paulo.

Despite activists’ protests, Mayor Eduardo Paes denies that the construction comes with any environmental concerns. He defended the course after lawsuits were filed by citing several environmental studies and a license obtained in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

“Here we have restinga [salt marsh] vegetation. We will plant 625,000 seedlings and increase the salt marsh vegetation area of 94,000 to 65,000 square meter. It is nonsense, a lie, to say that an environmental crime is being committed,” he said.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games Golf Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

The course moved to where it currently stands because it is closer to the athletes’ village.

“It had to be a public field and with a building permit. The adaptation of Itanhanga would have cost $25 million, and this area cost $26 million. So, it was decided by the Olympic Committee and the International Golf Federation that Barra would be the better place.”

Paes was also put under investigation in March 2015 to assess if any administrative misconduct with the course’s construction company had occurred.

Other Olympic venues are still underway in Rio, many being pushed back several months because of Brazil’s lack of funds. It is doubtful that all planned infrastructures will be completed on time.

The Olympics are acting as a way to revitalize Brazil amid their economic recession. The golf course will be open to the public after the 2016 games in hopes to introduce the recreational sport to the country.