BVIOC prepares for VI to experience Rio 2016 live

Rio-2016-Stephanie-Russ-PennIn the count down to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, delegates of the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) attended the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) workshops and forums hosted by the Suriname Olympic Committee.

BVIOC President, Ephraim Penn attended the 2nd Annual CANOC Workshop and General Assembly, October 10 – 11 where the main topic was the CANOC Broadcasting Inc (CBI) acquisition of broadcast rights for the Rio 2016 Olympics and the local scheduling of live broadcasts of events in which Caribbean national athletes will compete and local sponsorship opportunities.

CBI has hired ESPN to do the production, which, according to Larry Romany, CEO of CBI, “will not be doing a US production but a Caribbean production. This means you are not only seeing Caribbean sports but prior to the events Caribbean athletes will be interviewed.”

“This is a very welcome initiative,” said Penn. “It means that we can now follow the performances of our VI athletes as a live broadcast.”

The CANOC meetings were held in tandem with the Olympic Solidarity Forum 2015 which took place October 12-13. Stephanie Russ-Penn, the VI’s Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, and Cleave Farrington, executive director, BVIOC attended the forum which focused on the preparation of Chefs for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The forum followed on from the Rio 2016 Chefs de Mission Seminar which took place in Brazil in August of this year. Delegates included Russ-Penn and Mark Chapman, treasurer, BVIOC. Discussions covered accommodation, accreditation, arrivals and departures, doping controls, medical services, ticketing, and transport rate cards as well as the details needed by the Chefs to help prepare their teams when in Rio for the Games. Delegates also had an opportunity to visit sports specific venue sites including the Olympic Village.

“It is now less than 300 days to the Games and we are into our stride with preparations for the VI’s attendance,” said Russ-Penn. “The seminar and forums have been informative and helpful in making sure that we are appraised on what our athletes should and can expect as well as being reassured that the organisers are on track with their preparations of the venues and facilities for the participants.”

Tickets for Rio 2016 are now on sale only through the authorized ticketing resellers of National Olympic Committees. The BVIOC has purchased an allocation of tickets and is offering packages through its travel agent, Great Experience Travel.

“We would really like to see a strong contingent of VI residents and supporters in Brazil waving the flag for Team BVI,” said Chapman. “And while event tickets can be purchased individually, packages for the whole Olympic experience are very reasonable.

Sold in ‘waves’ of 3, 4 or 5 nights, prices start from US$2,325 per person and include event tickets and a ‘meet the team’ function, round-trip airport transfers, meet & greet at the airport, welcome drinks, hotel accommodation and breakfast.

David Gambler of Great Experience Travels was in Tortola October 15 – 17 and explained the ticket allocation and resale process. “The Rio 2016 event organisers release a number of tickets per event which in turn are allocated to NOCs for purchase based on a set of criteria including population size, number of anticipated athletes, and popularity of event.”

“We may not have tickets for all the events that you want to attend right off the bat but sometimes the event organisers will release a few more tickets closer to the Games,” Gambler said. “This happens, for example, if they make changes to a venue to increase the seating capacity or if another authorized ticket reseller has an allocation of unsold tickets that we then have access to.”

Gambler also cautions those who plan to book their accommodation independently. “During major Games, not only do hotel prices and car rentals go up, but inventory goes down as event organisers book 80% of the accommodation for participants, delegates and supporters,” said Gambler. This leaves only a small inventory which is contracted out to authorized ticket resellers or sold directly by the hoteliers or their consolidators.”

Gambler advises that since double bookings during major games are not uncommon when made through an online consolidator, travellers should use a credit card to make the booking or ensure that they take out travel insurance.

More information on tickets, accommodation, and travel for Rio 2016 can be received by completing the online Rio 2016 Ticket Request form.