August 20, 2012
Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 8/20/2012
Brazil will have to up its game at the Rio Olympics not just in terms of preparations for the event but also the performance of its athletes, amid plans by the country to more than double its medal count, according to its sports minister.
Aldo Rebelo said that while the country’s tally at the London games of 17 medals, three of them gold, was slightly better than the 15 expected, this would not suffice in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. “We need to put in a competitive performance in accordance with our status as host,” Mr Rebelo told the Financial Times in an interview. “We need to improve significantly (the medal count).”
In spite of having the world’s sixth-largest economy and fifth-largest population, Brazil finished 22nd in the medal table in London after investing far less than its peers in sports. Officials have previously said Brazil plans to more than triple its spending on its athletes to $700m, though it is unclear how the increased expenditure will be funded.
August 3, 2012
Paul Gough – Betting Zone, 8/3/2012
Brazil will never get a better chance to finally end their Olympic jinx and win a long overdue first men’s football gold medal with the record five-time World Cup winners now odds-on favourites to take out the men’s tournament at the London Games.
The knockout stages of the tournament get underway on Friday with the women’s quarter-finals, followed by the men’s quarter finals on Saturday.
And following the shock elimination of reigning World and European champions Spain from the tournament in the group stages, Brazil seemingly have the men’s tournament at their mercy.
The South American giants might have won the most World Cups in history with five but they are yet to win Olympic gold, having finished with the bronze medal in Beijing four years ago as well as bronze in 1996 and silver at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.
July 30, 2012
Mail Online, 7/29/2012
A political row has blown up over a Brazilian environmental campaigner being chosen to carry the Olympic flag in the London 2012 opening ceremony.
Marina Silva is a high-profile campaigner for the protection of the Amazon rainforests but is also the leader of a political party opposed to the current Brazil government.
As Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 2016 Games, many Brazilian politicians were in the Olympic Stadium for the ceremony and reacted angrily to her inclusion – Brazil’s current president Dilma Rousseff said she had had no idea she would be involved.
Marco Maia, the speaker of Brazil’s parliament, told reporters: ‘The IOC should be more careful.’
Aldo Rebelo, Brazil’s sports minister, said he was not surprised about her participation, saying: ‘Marina has always been a sweetheart among the aristocracies of Europe.’
July 30, 2012
AP/The Washington Post, 07/30/2012
Neymar ran to the sideline and struck the famous Usain Bolt lightning pose. It was football’s biggest Olympic star honoring one of the London Games’ most acclaimed athletes.
Neymar celebrated by imitating his idol after scoring from a free kick and leading Brazil to a 3-1 win over Belarus 3-1 on Sunday, securing the gold-medal favorite a spot in the quarterfinals of the men’s Olympic tournament.
“It was for Bolt, we did his celebration,” Neymar said.
May 11, 2011
Stuart Grudgings – Reuters, 05/11/2011
RIO DE JANEIRO – Like his house, Jose Santos de Oliveira is an island of resistance.
The middle-aged gardener and his home stand amid the sea of rubble that remains of the slum community of Vila Recreio 2 in the west of Rio de Janeiro.
The mistake of the around 200 families who used to live here? They were in the way of Brazil’s make-over to host the world’s biggest sports events in the coming years — in this case, one of three new bus routes aimed at easing congestion.
May 2, 2011
Brian Winters – Reuters, 05/02/2011
Over lunch, in the hallways, pretty much wherever you go at the World Economic Forum’s investor conference on Latin America, the question always comes up, usually in a confidential whisper:
Is Brazil a bubble?
Concerns that Brazil’s stellar economic growth could somehow be a credit-fueled mirage have dominated this gathering of more than 700 business and political leaders, as panel discussions dissect the risks of high inflation and other imbalances that could herald a premature end to one of the world’s biggest economic success stories.
April 26, 2011
Stuart Grudgings – Reuters, 4/25/2011
Forced evictions of slum dwellers to make way for the 2016 Olympic Games show that human rights could suffer during Brazil’s preparations for the event, the head of Amnesty International said on Monday.
Among other projects, Rio de Janeiro plans to build three expressways for buses ahead of 2016 that will pass through several slums, or favelas, that are home to thousands of residents. Despite Brazil’s economic rise, millions of slum-dwellers still live a precarious existence in major cities and have long borne the brunt of human rights abuses.
“Our worry is that because of the Olympics now this thing could get scaled up very significantly,” Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s secretary general, said in an interview as he started a weeklong visit to the South American giant.
March 28, 2011
Brian Winter – Reuters, 03/27/2011
It’s 8 p.m. at Sao Paulo’s sublimely overcrowded international airport and Marvin Curie, seeing all the chairs around him taken, decides to join dozens of other business travelers and sit on the floor.
Until, that is, a coffee-colored mystery liquid starts to seep out of a nearby men’s room.
“Oh, Jesus!” Curie exclaims, scrambling to his feet. He checks the seat of his suit pants for stains — nothing.
September 28, 2009
Alexei Barrionuevo-New York Times, 09/27/2009
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, on the other hand, has thrown himself behind Rio’s bid and said he would definitely make the trip to Copenhagen.
He has lobbied I.O.C. members wherever he could and called Mr. Osorio and others on Brazil’s bid committee for regular updates.
He attended the opening ceremonies of the Summer Games last year in Beijing and hosted a dinner for Olympic committee members there. He stayed an extra day in London after the Group of 20 meetings in April to tour the Olympic Park being readied for the 2012 Games.
The vote of some 100 committee members could stamp an exclamation point on his legacy as one of Brazil’s most popular presidents this century, and pave the road for his return to power in 2014, political analysts said.
On the other hand, Brazil’s ascent as a world-class sports site is a mixed blessing. Brazil will host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and already has projects under way to renovate its international airports in Rio and São Paulo, and build a high-speed rail system between the two cities in preparation for the event, points that work in Rio’s favor.
Read full article…
September 23, 2009
Lula: Brazil needs Olympic games
Associated Press, 09/22/09
Brazil’s president on Tuesday defended Rio de Janeiro’s candidacy to host the 2016 Olympics, saying no other country needed it more than Brazil.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said his country was the only one among the world’s 10 largest economies that has never hosted the Olympic games and argued that since Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup, Rio would be more than prepared two years down the road.
”For others it would be just another Olympics, but for Brazil it would be something to raise the self-esteem of the people,” said Silva, who is Brazil’s first president to come from the working classes. ”No other city needs to host an Olympics. Brazil needs it.”
Read the full article..
Support From Chicagoans:
A group of Chicagoans support the Olympics, but just not in Chicago. Instead, they prefer the bid for Rio de Janeiro. Their motto says: “It would be exciting to host the Olympics here in Chicago. But do you know what would be even better? Rio de Janeiro. Just let Rio host the 2016 Olympics. We don’t mind. Honest.”
See website here.