The Olympic golf tournament got off to an unconventional start when a small group of Occupy Golf movement protestors gathered outside of the newly constructed course on the Avenues of the Americas in Barra de Tijuca.
The protestors held signs and chanted against the construction of the golf course on the Marapendi nature reserve. The group believes that the construction of the course had a negative effect on the environment. However, city officials have said that the construction of the golf course has had a positive effect.
According to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, officials claim the area had previously been “environmentally degraded,” and the construction required significant clean-up. The city is currently fielding a lawsuit against the construction.
O Globo noted that no one was arrested in conjunction with the protest. However, there was one arrest made unrelated to the protests. “In the vicinity of the Olympic Park, military police arrested a man on the Avenue of the Americas. According to police, he was a scalper selling tickets for various attractions.”
Although Golf Digest has said the course will show well on TV, the reality of the situation is far from what you see on TV. Golf Digest reported, “Even the golf course was rushed, but designer Gil Hanse, who simply refused to be defeated by bureaucracy and delays, and superintendent Neil Cleverly, who brought Zeon fairways from Texas and Seashore Paspalum greens from the University of Georgia, performed a minor miracle. It’s a very good course that will show beautifully on television.”
Following the commotion from the small group of protestors, the Olympic golfing tournament was an exciting event. Great Britain’s Justin Rose, who won gold in the tournament, “fired the first hole-in-one in Olympic history on Thursday with an ace at the par-three fourth hole on the new Rio Games course. In the opening round of the first Olympic golf tournament in 112 years, Rose blasted his tee shot into the cup from 188 yards.”