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Another Obstacle In Rio

They called the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s victory against the Soviet Union the Miracle on Ice. And they’ll likely call it the Miracle on Grass if golf actually makes its slated return to the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

In the latest chapter of the Olympic golf course saga, a Rio court proposed Wednesday that the Gil Hanse-designed layout, which is under construction, should be modified to meet environmental concerns.

Public prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the city of Rio de Janeiro and course developer Pasquale Mauro, and a judge said the defendants must return on Sept. 17 to indicate whether proposed modifications are acceptable, the Associated Press reported. Judge Eduardo Klausner urged the prosecutors to offer a proposal that would preserve as much Atlantic rainforest as possible while accommodating the course construction, the report said. In the meantime, Klausner said course work can continue but no additional areas of vegetation are to be plowed under.

The AP report described the hearing as “raucous” and “at times chaotic,” and quoted a biologist hired by the developer as saying that because the course layout has been set, it would prove difficult to modify. The report also included recent quotes from International Golf Federation VP Ty Votaw about alternative plans for the Olympic tournament.

“What they are is not something we’re going to share right now, but there are contingency plans,” said Votaw, speaking at July’s Open Championship and sounding a bit like James Bond.

At this point it’s a toss-up of which Bond movie title best fits the Rio course debacle: Dr. No, Live and Let Die or A View to a Kill.


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