Rio Summer Games

For Leonardo Gryner, the toll of preparing for the Olympics is personal. Since 2001, he's been involved in various roles designed to win Rio, Brazil, the rights to host the Olympic Games. Since 2007, he's been involved in the organizing process behind the largest single sporting event in the world.

As the deputy CEO of the Rio 2016 organizing committee, he's got hands in everything: The financial, commercial, operational and infrastructure processes behind the Summer Olympic Games.

"It's quite challenging," Gryner says. "It requires lots of discipline in how you manage your own life. You have to take care of how you eat, how you exercise, how you organize yourself.

"You have to have a good team. That helps a lot."

Rio Olympics

And that team is about to grow a lot. Right now, the Rio Olympic Games employs about 2,100. Soon, that number will hit 6,000 by the time the Games begin.

That will require a lot of training of staff, but it's a relatively small obstacle compared to some of the challenges Gryner has faced in the past. To achieve such a milestone of bringing an Olympics to Brazil, Gryner and his committee had to facilitate a lot of collaboration between government and non-government entities.

Gryner, who will speak next week at the Sports Industry Networking and Career Conference in Washington, D.C., says his organization was able to manage that considerable process on-time, and within budget, which he described as "a very consuming task."

And the Olympic Committee was lucky there were no delays in preparations. In late 2014, an economic recession hit Brazil and could have jeopardized ongoing preparations. But by that time, more than 95 percent of sponsorship packages had been sold, and the government had already funded 70 percent of its own projects.

Had the recession hit two years earlier, it could have been much more of a disaster. Instead, the recession's impact is mostly limited to smaller operational line expenses.

Now, in addition to hiring staff and prepping operations, Gryner says a top priority is polishing the theme and signature of the Olympic Games. He highlighted two priorities he is opening the Games can convey about Rio and Brazil: Transformation and passion, and in particular Rio's transformation into a world-class city.

One of the few unknowns in the preparation for the Games is an ongoing health crisis spreading throughout North and South America: The Zika virus, which has already had a devastating effect in Brazil. Some athletes, including American soccer star Hope Solo, have expressed that they would consider skipping the Olympic Games if the threat of Zika remained.

Rio Summer Olympics

Gryner said the local leadership has launched a multi-pronged response to the virus, including an initiative by the federal government to exterminate mosquito eggs.

From there, Olympics operations will work to maintain that cleanup, so that the risk is mitigated in the months leading up to the Games.

But Gryner also notes that the Summer Games will actually happen during Rio's winter months, when temperatures are more mild. He says that the heavy mosquito season dies down in June, so the risk is expected to be considerably lower by the time athletes travel to Brazil.

"The World Health Organization is saying that it's not a threat, and the International Olympics Committe has said it's not a threat to the Games," Gryner says. "[Authorities] are following very close … the consequences of this and the reach, they are very comfortable that we can keep going on with the Games without posing a threat to anyone."

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