Officials Worried Olympic Cemetery Won’t Be Completed In Time For Games

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RIO DE JANEIRO—Stressing that time is quickly running out and that construction is not nearly complete, organizers of the 2016 Olympics expressed concern Wednesday that the official Olympic Cemetery would not be completed in time for the games. “We are only days away from the opening ceremony, but there is still considerable work to be done to ensure that the cemetery can comfortably accommodate all the athletes, media members, and fans we expect over the course of the next two weeks,” said a senior International Olympic Committee official speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that progress on the expansive, multimillion-dollar burial site has been repeatedly delayed by budgetary issues stemming from the high cost of caskets and a recent strike by gravediggers demanding better working conditions. “At this point, less than half of the burial plots are ready, there is still scaffolding over the mausoleums, and we’re still awaiting dozens of gravestones being shipped from China. But we will do our best, and hopefully everything will be ready before the bodies begin arriving.” The IOC official did confirm, however, that enough of the Olympic Cemetery has been completed to at least house dozens of migrant workers who were part of its construction.

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