The Road to Rio Stops in Sochi: GE to Help Russia’s Sochi and Brazil’s Rio Stage the Next Olympics

August 10, 2012

Brazil’s “Marvelous City,” Rio de Janeiro, is next up as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, after the London Games end on Sunday night. The Winter Olympics caravan, however, will drop anchor in the Russian Black Sea harbor of Sochi in just 30 months.

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Ready for Rio: The Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro will open in 2016. Image credit: GE and Aecon.

Like in London, GE will help Sochi and Rio handle the rigors of Olympic planning. In Sochi, for example, the organizers are building 11 sports venues, a new Olympic Village, and a mountain skiing center in the nearby Western Caucasus. Russia plans to transform Sochi from a summer resort (Maria Sharapova started playing tennis in the city) to an international year-round destination.

GE technology such as advanced power plants that use jet engines to generate electricity and burn cleaner natural gas will provide electricity for the Games, and for the city. Engineers call the technology “aeroderivative” turbines, and GE is the world’s largest aeroderivatives manufacturer.

The turbines serve in 73 countries, but they are made and assembled by American workers at GE plants in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in Houston, Texas. They support some 1,000 U.S. manufacturing and engineering jobs.

In many respects, the Rio Games will be an even larger event than London. The city will host 10,500 athletes, 3,000 more than the British capital. But less than a half of the facilities needed to accommodate them are open today, and Rio still needs to build 10 new venues.

GE will help. “GE is synonymous with innovation and technology,” says Reinaldo Garcia, GE Latin America president and CEO. Like in London, GE will take to Rio its expertise in transportation, power generation, lighting and healthcare. GE will provide “world-class infrastructure solutions and a sustainable legacy for future generations, as well as state-of-the art technology for the athletes.” Garcia says that GE is working today to build the Olympics of the future.