A judge earlier this week thwarted an attempt by environmentalists to stop the development of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic golf course.
Judge Eduardo Antonio Klausner ruled that the city of Rio and the golf course developer does not endanger the existing vegetation by effectively rerouting hole No. 12, which made way for a 32-meter-long wildlife corridor, and by planting a specific grass.
Calling the modifications “laughable,” the prosecutors asserted that the environment should take priority over the Olympics and real estate development. The prosecutors and environmentalists argued that the wildlife corridor, which connected the fragmented habitats formed by the development, should be expanded to 400 meters.
Golf.com reported that if the prosecutors can provide additional environmental risks caused by the golf course’s development, Klausner can reconsider his decision and halt the project. The golf track, cut from a nature reserve in western Rio is part of a luxury condominium complex selling for $3 million to $7 million. The project is now 70 percent complete.
The defendants insist that further legal objections to the course’s construction could be detrimental to the Olympics and Rio’s reputation.
Golf re-emerges in the 2016 Olympics in Rio for the first time since 1904. Golf was in its infancy in terms of popularity at the turn of the twentieth century when the number of golfers playing worldwide was measured in the tens of thousands. In fact, the 1904 Olympics was unable to attract enough women to compete in the games so that only a men’s event was held.
According to the 2016 official Olympics webpage, there are some 60 million men and women of all ages now playing.