The final countdown - 99 days until the Rio Olympics
It's just 99 days until the first Olympic Games to be held in South America take place in Rio de Janeiro.
However, while the typical Brazilian carnival atmosphere is starting to build, the hosts are already competing with political and economic potential party-poopers.
Comment: The race is on to bring home biggest Olympic prize of all from RioWith 10,500 athletes from 206 countries set to entertain 450,000 tourists, it’s essential that preparations are at an advanced stage.
But the revelation that 11 people have already died on Olympic construction sites has, along with the news that President Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment, created a less-than-chilled vibe to the build-up.
And with the economy in crisis, the Zika virus and a spiraling crime rate, the Games are hardly looking like an appealing prospect.
Despite all that, the stadiums are 98 percent ready, and the 140,000 people needed to host the Games - 90,000 employees and a further 50,000 volunteers - are in place . International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach is confident that all will be well, promising “an excellent Games.” And organisers point out that Brazilians tend to leave ticket purchases until the last minute.
For sports fans intending on visiting from abroad, 7.5 million tickets will be available, with 60% already sold.
Hotel rooms in Rio have leapt in price from an average of £67, to £196 per night. Despite this hike, only 14 per cent of official hotel rooms are still free. So anyone intending on supporting Team GB would be well advised to get their skates on…