Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, in a close race for re-election, to tour Rio Olympic venues

September 30, 2014

Associated Press – Fox News, 09/30/2014

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, in a close race for re-election, is touring the main venue for Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic Games with voting just days away.

Local organizing committee officials say Rousseff will visit the site of the Olympic Park on Tuesday with Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and International Olympic Committee inspectors in town checking progress on the venue construction, which has been slow getting started but now appears to be moving at a quicker pace.

Brazil is spending about $20 billion to prepare the city for the games, a mix of private and public money.

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Brazil: new project to clean Olympic waters

September 3, 2014

Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 09/02/2014

Rio de Janeiro officials on Tuesday unveiled a new sanitation project that aims to eliminate the stain of raw sewage defiling the waters of Rio de Janeiro’s Gloria Marina, where the 2016 Olympic sailing events are to be held.

Under the agreement, Rio’s state government is building a 1-kilometer- (0.62-mile-) long pipeline in the city’s Flamengo neighborhood to stem the flow of raw sewage into the Marina. The $6.2 million project will connect area rainwater collectors with a sewage treatment center in the Ipanema Beach area.

More than half of the sewage in this city of 12 million goes untreated, meaning that collected rainwater is often contaminated with raw sewage. More than 10,000 liters of raw sewage flows each second into most of Rio’s waterways, from the massive Guanabara Bay, where the Gloria Marina is located, to its beaches and lagoons.

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U.S. World Cup Love Prompts Brazil to Shift Olympic Ads

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.”

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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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