Rio 2016 Head Says Olympics Won’t Repeat World Cup Pains

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.

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Brazil dismisses Rio 2016 Olympics water pollution worries

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.

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OPINION: Brazil’s new goals

August 5, 2014
Ben Blackwell – Recharge News, 8/4/2014
The World Cup is over, but the Brazilian decade is not. Events on the football pitch meant that although the tournament was considered one of the best ever by foreigners, it will not be remembered so fondly by Brazilians.

The coming weeks are likely to see further turbulence as October’s presidential election approaches. There could be a resurgence of the pent-up dissatisfaction that came to the surface in June 2013, while the current political leadership is in for a rough ride at the polls.

But none of this will derail Brazil’s rise to prominence on the world stage, or the steady economic growth underlying this ascent. Indeed, the protests mark the arrival of an assertive, confident middle class that expects better services in exchange for its relatively high taxes. The process won’t always be pretty, but better governance and a fairer country will eventually emerge.

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Brazil Make Progress With Preparations

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.

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Brazil has a capacity to do the unexpected

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 »


Activists in Brazil are fighting to protect the environment — and their lives

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.

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Brazil want Neymar to play at 2016 Olympics in Rio

July 28, 2014

Joe Prince-Wright – Pro Soccer Talk, 7/28/2014

Brazilian superstar Neymar had his World Cup cut short by injury this summer, but he may get another chance to represent his nation on home soil sooner than anyone thought.

According to a report from Brazil on Monday, the 22-year-old winger is in the plans of Brazil’s Olympic coach Alexandre Gallo to be an overage player on Brazil’s roster during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The only issue is that Neymar is expected to play for Brazil at the 2016 Copa America Centenario tournament being held in the U.S. and his involvement in the Rio Olympics could see him miss the start of FC Barcelona’s season in Spain.

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