August 28, 2014
Bill Faries – Bloomberg, 8/28/2014
American enthusiasm for soccer’s World Cup prompted Brazil to shift more of its advertising toward the U.S. ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the head of Brazil’s tourism agency Embratur said.
U.S. citizens represented just over 10 percent of the 1.04 million foreign visitors to Brazil during the month long tournament that ended July 13, Embratur President Vicente Neto said in an interview. That made the U.S. the second-biggest source of foreign fans after neighboring Argentina, whose team made it to the final against Germany.
“It exceeded all our expectations,” Neto said in Miami last week. “We’re expecting that to be the same with the Olympics, given the U.S. history and participation in the Games.”
August 5, 2014
Tariq Panja – Bloomberg, 8/4/2014
After delays and cost overruns marred the buildup to the soccer World Cup in Brazil, the head of the country’s effort to host the 2016 Summer Olympics says the goal is to show a different image to the world.
Brazil hosted the month-long World Cup without any major hitches, with spectators packing stadiums to watch a tournament that featured high-scoring games and drama all the way to Germany’s 1-0 win against Argentina in the championship match at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium on July 13. What preceded the event was far less smooth, however.
Almost every one of the 12 stadiums being used for the $11 billion tournament ended up being over budget and missed deadlines for completion, including the Sao Paulo Arena that was still being painted on the day it hosted the tournament opener on June 12. That embarrassed Brazil and raised fears about what kind of event athletes and visitors will witness when Rio hosts the Olympics in exactly two years.
August 5, 2014
BBC News, 8/3/2014
The organisers of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro have dismissed concerns about water pollution in the bay where sailing events will be held.
Brazilian officials said recent tests show that the waters in Guanabara Bay meet international standards.
The first official test event – for the sailing competitions – went ahead on Sunday below the Sugar Loaf mountain.
August 5, 2014
Morning Star, 8/5/2014
Rio 2016 organisers admit they cannot afford to indulge in the luxury of leaving preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics to the last minute.
Two years before the Games, which start on August 5 2016, Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada said the preparations are now back on schedule after numerous delays.
Senior IOC figures have declared Rio as further behind than even Athens was at a similar stage before the 2016 Olympics but Andrada says there has been a well-timed wake-up call earlier this year.
August 1, 2014
Brazil Institute Director Paulo Sotero will be taking part in the prestigious Chautauqua Institution’s lecture series this week, entitled, “Brazil: Rising Superpower.”
Following is the piece he authored on Brazil in a global context which will be the basis of his lecture on Friday, August 1.
Paulo Sotero – The Chautauquan Daily, 7/31/2014
Not a country for beginners, as composer Antônio Carlos Jobim famously said, Brazil often does what is least expected. It did the unexpected in the World Cup — twice. First, by losing the soccer tournament it was overwhelmingly favored to win at home, and secondly hosting an excellent event, free of the logistical nightmares that were predicted by some and feared by most. It could do it again in the October presidential contest and frustrate the re-election plans of President Dilma Rousseff, who until recently was seen as heavily favored to renew her mandate for four more years.
Here is another surprise: The embarrassing World Cup performance of Brazil’s beloved Seleção and Rousseff’s electoral troubles are unrelated. A Datafolha opinion poll released last week showed that the sour national mood detected by a Pew Research Center survey before the event returned as soon as the games ended. With the economy stagnating and Brazilians increasingly worried about rising inflation and other adverse economic news, 54 percent now say the World Cup brought more costs than benefits to the country, down 8 points since July 1 despite the overall perception that the tournament was a success. Read the rest of this entry »
July 30, 2014
Gerry Hadden – PRI, 7/29/2014
908. That’s the number of environmental and land-reform activists assassinated worldwide between 2003 and 2013, according to a study by the NGO Global Witness. The number might shock you, but perhaps even more shocking is that nearly half of those murders — 448 — took place in one country: Brazil.
What is it that makes Brazil the most dangerous place in the world to be an activist?
You’ll find clues in the story of Guarabana Bay. The bay, just minutes from downtown Rio’s world famous beaches, is a study in pollution and filth. Dark sludge cakes the shoreline. Garbage floats everywhere. It’s so bad that some sailors set to compete here in the 2016 Summer Olympics are warning colleagues not to let this water touch their skin.