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‘Rio ready to enjoy Olympic party’

Rio de Janeiro is a vastly different city to the one that won the right to host the Olympic Games in 2009, mayor Eduardo Paes has said.

With just over a week to go until the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium, Paes on Wednesday hailed the impact of 40 billion reais (around $12 billion) in Olympics-related investments, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The Olympics have allowed for the building of projects that were shelved for a long time,” Paes said. “Now we can start to enjoy the party, the celebration and the Olympic challenge.”

“Tourists won’t be seeing a perfect city but one that is vastly better than it was in 2009 (when Rio launched its Olympic candidacy).”

Among projects that have been completed for the Olympics include a new subway line, exclusive bus corridors and a light rail service.

The majority of Rio’s Olympic budget has been allocated to infrastructure, according to Paes.

He said the city would also benefit from the legacy left by Olympic Park, which will see some arenas converted into schools and others used to develop young athletes.

Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani said a tender process would be launched on August 4 to select a post-Games administrator for the Olympic Park complex.

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