Written by by Daniel Diegos, CNN
With the Tour de France approaching its home turf in France and cycling once again considered as an Olympic sport, the World Athletics Championships come to London later this month.
The elite athletes of the day are forced to commute each day to different stadiums. Do you know how your local athlete is spending his or her day?
You may think it’s a simple matter of passing buses, fitness clubs and the local training center, or the dreaded hair salon. But that is only part of the story.
The forces unleashed by the world’s greatest sporting event can be overwhelming.
In London, that is expected to be the subject of two major reports by each of the three local organizing committees ahead of the championships.
Athletes prepare for the London Marathon. Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
“The debate around the journey of an athlete to the Olympic Village is enormous,” says Len Nicholls, from the Westminster City Council. “How much time do they spend standing on their own and how many meetings do they go into?”
Several parts of London have been transformed, including the formerly run-down and derelict London Borough of Hackney where the whole event will be centered. The hackney car park on Hackney Marshes is now a market
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London will host the quadrennial games, which will be spread across 14 Olympic sites. The park will consist of permanent sites at the track, volleyball, field hockey, and gymnastics — as well as temporary venues at the football, track and field, rugby sevens, and heptathlon stadiums.
What the athletes need to know about London’s Olympic Park
But the real trauma is under way, and it is doing its most ferocious damage to Brazil, where the World Cup will take place one year later.
For the first time, the AFC (Association of the Club Football World Cup) is organizing an international sporting event in the world’s biggest and most populous country. Even the migration of the athletes will be taken into account, with a shuttle service planned between the Olympic and football venues, as well as additional competitions and events at venues around the country.
“Brazil has the highest ratio of poor citizens, among all the countries that will host major world sporting events,” says Natalia Rocca, Olympic gold medalist in swimming for Italy.
Her concerns stem from the program for athletes running through Brazil’s public funding, with Rio de Janeiro taking the lead. “The athletes do not know where to go and who’s responsible for them,” says Rocca.
Rio de Janeiro has chosen to host both the FIFA and the World Cup events. Credit: Sergio Moraes/Reuters
In 2012, the deadline for construction was missed and it seems the locals didn’t receive the same level of attention as the players and officials at the Olympic Games.
In a more positive note, Brazil will be treating its athletes as ambassadors — and would prefer to attend games rather than go on the bus.
Whether visitors travel on public transport or by automobile, they are sure to endure the inevitable traffic jams.