Rugby Sevens for Rio 2016

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The Rio 2016 team was set to discuss rugby sevens operations during a World Series event in New Zealand. The aim of the visit was to learn about the discipline dynamics and venue design.

A team of representatives of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games has been in New Zealand to observe the dynamics of a Rugby Sevens World Series event as the disciplines Olympic debut is set for the Rio Games. The visit took place during the third stage of the Series, in early February 2011 in Wellington. The team from the Rio 2016 sport department accepted an invitation from Mark Egan, head of development and performance at the International Rugby Board (IRB), made during meetings held in Rio in October 2010. Egan referred to the Westpac Stadium and the New Zealand International Sevens as prime examples of a Rugby Sevens event operation. Aspects to be observed during the World Series event included: access and flows of athletes, officials, workforce, spectators and other stakeholders; design of key spaces at the stadium; doping control services and operation, registration and results system; event presentation and interactions with spectators; training sites; competition management organisational chart; interface with service providers, sponsors, partners and venue owners; maintenance; and specific requirements. Rio 2016 sport department director Agberto Guimaráes stressed that Rugby Sevens events were very unique, with several games being played in sequence and short periods of time between matches. Understanding how this works is critical, he said. New Zealand is a country with a long–standing tradition of rugby events and the Wellington stadium was specifically designed for Rugby competitions. It is this competition management and event operations expertise that we wish to have as our benchmark for the planning of this discipline at the Rio 2016 Games. This is why the visit of Rio 2016 sport department representatives to Wellington is so important, and we would like to thank the IRB for the invitation, Agberto Guimaráes explained. Rugby in the Olympic GamesIn October 2009, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to include Rugby Sevens in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Programme. The vote was held during the same IOC Assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark, that awarded the 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to Rio de Janeiro. Rugby Union was an Olympic discipline in the beginning of the past century at the 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924 Summer Games.

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