TODAY

TODAY   |  February 24, 2014

Olympic spotlight turns from Sochi to Rio

The Brazilian city is the next Olympic city, and is scrambling to get ready for 2016. It’s the first South American city ever to be awarded the Games, but though the mayor is eager, he faces daunting problems. NBC’s Bill Neely reports.

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>>> the olympic spotlight is turning from eastern europe to south america . bill, good morning.

>> reporter: yes, natalie. from russia to rio , it could hardly be more different. the first south american city to be awarded the games. it's a world away from winter games in sochi, rio is the next olympic city, and its mayor can't wait.

>> there's no view like that, no place like rio .

>> reporter: the stadium for the opening ceremony is ready. most venues are not. the main olympic park is a building site.

>> these are scheduled. we can't deliver things on schedule all the time.

>> reporter: olympic officials say rio hasn't a day to waste. he's a mayor in a hurry.

>> i can guarantee these games will be ready on time.

>> 100%?

>> 100%.

>> reporter: but rio has a dark side . since it won the games, the police have struggled against the drug gangs that rule many neighborhoods. they patrol aggressively trying to make rio safe for the summer games , but parts of this city remain violent. rio 's reputation is built on carnival and fun. it knows how to throw a party. and the countdown has begun to one of its biggest. rio won the bid, and with sochi over, the pressure is on, only 894 to go before the next opening ceremony . natalie?

>> bill neely in rio de