Rio Olympics lacking 'look' that usually characterizes games

The pool in the Lenk Aquatic Center where the 2016 Summer Olympics synchronized swimming competition is held, is photographed after going through a change in water overnight, on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Olympic officials gave up on cleaning the green-tinged water in one of the pools at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center. Instead, they began draining it Saturday and planned to transfer nearly 1 million gallons of clear water from a nearby practice pool in time for the start of synchronized swimming. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Looking for an Olympic venue? The IOC has acknowledged that the Rio Olympics are missing part of the so-called "look" that characterizes the games.

"It's a very unfortunate situation where the look could not be delivered on time," Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said Sunday.

Organizing committee officials admitted just days before the games opened that only 15 percent of the signage had been installed at Olympic venues. Signs give the Olympics their unique branding and help fans get around.

"There were many other things that were supposed to be installed, and they could not," said Dubi, who said Ukrainian suppliers had failed to deliver at the last minute, forcing organizers to improvise.

Signage was absent along part of Sunday's women's marathon route, relying on famous backdrops like Sugar Loaf Mountain to remind television viewers that the race was being run in Rio de Janeiro. Rio's famous Sambadrome was largely barren of decorations, except very close to the marathon's finish line.

Rio organizers have made deep budget cuts hitting all food service, transportation, and volunteers. The cuts were supposed to affect only "behind-the-scenes" aspects, but have crept into other areas.

"We understand that the look of the games needs to be improved in some venues, especially in the Olympic stadium," Rio spokesman Mario Andrada said. "We understand also that in some areas of the marathon we could have had a little bit more."

Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive officer of the Olympic Broadcasting Services, has called the "look of the games" a disappointment. He said many venues were "not what we expected or hoped for" and lacked colorful designs, logos and graphics."

OBS, the broadcasting arm of the International Olympic Committee, delivers the live video and sound from all the venues to television rights-holders around the world.

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Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/stephen-wade

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