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Rio 2016 hockey tournament to be played on world-class artificial turf

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Worldwide Olympic Partner, Dow, works with strategic customer, Polytan, to supply the high-performing playing surface for the Olympic hockey pitches.

Building on the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games experience, the innovative artificial turf solution based on The Dow Chemical Company’s (NYSE: DOW) polyethylene (PE) and polyurethane (PU) technologies will be the official playing surface for hockey competitions during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, at the Deodoro Olympic Park.

Dow, the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games, is working once again with Polytan STI, a global leading manufacturer and supplier for outdoor and indoor sports surfaces, to deliver a higher-performing, more reliable and faster artificial turf for the world’s best hockey players in Rio.

The companies worked together on London 2012’s Riverbank Arena, which helped set the new standard for hockey’s most important competitions.

Game-changing features

Two pitches and one warm-up area at Deodoro, as well as two additional pitches to be built at the Federal University of Rio, will benefit from a comprehensive playing surface that consists of specific high-performing materials formulated together in multiple layers. The surface system is designed to deliver enhanced durability for increased pitch life, and a consistent field-of-play throughout the busy Olympic competition schedule.

The production of synthetic turf is a highly elaborated process. The system begins with the production of the master batch and the yarn for the turf. The subsequent tufting and backing process provide a strong turf bind, even when the surface is wet. For the upper surface layer, the polymer yarn provides wear resistance and energy absorption, combined with softness and speed. The complete turf system, including embedded shock pad properties, provides stability, durability, shock absorption and force reduction properties for the benefit of the players and the game.

The internationally-certified artificial turf system offers colorability, enabling customised aesthetics and design for the playing surface. London 2012 marked the first Olympic hockey competition in history to be played on blue and pink turf. The blue colour enabled players, officials, spectators and the media to keep their eyes on the ball more easily, because it provided a high level of contrast against the yellow ball and white lines.

Ana Carolina Haracemiv, Global Marketing Director, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics, said:

Our unique position as the Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Games and a global leader in the plastics industry, combined with our customer’s experience in artificial playing surfaces, enables us to deliver the best turf conditions for the world’s greatest athletes – in hockey and other sports. The solution we developed together is durable, low maintenance, stays consistently flat and fast from game to game, and requires no watering – compared to natural grass.

Contributing to the Olympic Legacy in Rio

Beyond the Olympic athletes, citizens of Rio will largely benefit from the innovative playing surfaces to be installed in Deodoro, as the Park will remain as one of the main legacy projects for the city after the Games have concluded. Dow and its customer plan to donate material to support the construction of the Deodoro pitches and enable the long-term use of the fields.

Sidney Levy, Chief Executive Officer of Rio 2016, said:

The contribution we are receiving from Dow and its customer is an extraordinary example of how the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are changing – for the better – our city and communities. It takes true Olympic spirit, strong partnerships and great corporate citizenship to help us deliver this unique legacy for the future of Rio.


Image: Dow/Polytan hockey pitch at London 2012

Ceremony marks start of construction on Rio 2016 Olympic Park

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A ceremony was held on Friday July 6 to mark the start of construction works on the Rio 2016™ Olympic Park – which encompasses much of the Olympic and Paralympic competitions in the Games in the neighbourhood of Barra da Tijuca. In attendance was the President of the Rio 2016™ Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, among other dignatories.


The Olympic Park installations will take up an area of 1.18 million square metres. Competitions of 14 Olympic sports and disciplines will be staged there (Basketball, Judo, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Handball, Tennis, Cycling, Diving, Water Polo, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Trampoline Gymnastics) and nine Paralympic sports and disciplines (Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby, Bocce, Judo, Sitting Volleyball, Goalball, Wheelchair Tennis, Cycling and Swimming).


Carlos Arthur Nuzman commented during the ceremony:

Today is a historical day for Brazilian sport. The Olympic Park is the heart of the Games, and after 2016 it will leave as a legacy the first Olympic Training Camp in South America.


For the next 15 years, the area’s infrastructure and maintenance works will be managed by the Rio Mais Consortium, formed by construction companies Norberto Odebrecht, Andrade Gutierrez and Carvalho Hosken, winner of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP); the bid was conducted by Rio de Janeiro Municipal Authority last March.


Simulation of the Olympic Park Rio 2016(Art: Divulgation)


Deactivation of the Race Track

The Olympic Park’s construction works will begin in parallel to the progressive deactivation of the Jacarepaguá Race Track. The Race Track’s demolition will start by the uncovered grandstand area, and will not interfere with the race calendar.


The progressive deactivation of the Race Track is aligned with the construction chronogram of the Olympic Park, which was commonly agreed between the Brazilian Auto Racing Confederation (CBA), Rio de Janeiro Municipal Government and the Rio Mais Consortium. New auto racing venues will be built by the State government in Deodoro region.


The PPP that allowed the local infrastructure also guarantees the construction of a 400-room hotel, the Main Press Centre and three pavilions which will host the future Training Olympic Centre (COT) for high-performance athletes.


Rio de Janeiro Municipal Government will also be responsible for the Olympic Park construction through federal funds. This equipment is not contemplated within the PPP’s and the Federal Government’s scope, such as the Aquatic Park, the Tennis Centre, and the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC), among others.


Foundation Stone of the Olympic Park Rio 2016™ (Photo: Divulgation)


Environmental Preservation

Environmental preservation is one of the principles that governs the construction works of the Olympic Park, in which 100% of the waste will be re-used. The emphasis on the environment has been thought through since the elaboration of the international competition which selected the Master Plan, held in August 2011.


In addition to defining public space areas (streets, open spaces, accesses, etc) in both Games and legacy modes, the winning urban proposal – by AECOM – foresees the transition between these two scenarios.


The project contemplates the ecologic recovery of the lagoon located in the area’s surroundings, accessibility, use of sustainable technological innovations and security. The Olympic Park’s infrastructure will have a water treatment system through natural filtration of water drainage, landscaping, lighting and paving roads.