Video undermines U.S. swimmers’ account of Rio robbery

Rodrigo Viga & Jeb Blount – Reuters, 08/18/2016

Brazil TV aired a video on Thursday that showed four U.S. Olympic swimmers did not tell the whole truth when they said they were robbed at gunpoint in an incident that has marred the image of South America’s first Olympic Games.

The security-camera images broadcast on Globo TV appeared to show the swimmers, including Olympic gold medallists Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, in a dispute with staff at a Rio gas station, a fact they did not mention to police in their accounts.

“The athletes lied to us about their story,” a top Rio police official told Reuters on Thursday, declining to be identified because the matter was still under investigation.

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Rio Olympics: Brazil weighs jihadi threats

CNN, 07/21/2016

Brazil’s intelligence agency said it was reviewing all threats against the Rio 2016 Games after a jihadi messaging channel called for its followers to target the Olympics.

“Many [threats] are discarded and the ones that deserve attention are investigated exhaustively,” the agency said.

Earlier this week, a jihadi channel on the messaging app Telegram called for attacks against the Games and detailed targets and methods, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

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Rio official says there’s ‘no plan B’ for Olympic sailing

AP – The Washington Post, 1/27/2015

Rio de Janeiro Olympic organizers said Tuesday they have “no plan B” for the 2016 games’ sailing competitions, despite a recent admission by the state’s top environment official that it will be impossible to meet pledges to clean up the raw sewage- and trash-filled waters where the events are to be staged.

Mario Andrade, spokesman of the Rio 2016 organizing committee insisted the sailing competitions “will be held in the Guanabara Bay, under the best possible Olympic conditions.”’

Guanabara Bay has become a hot-button issue ahead of the 2016 games. It stinks of raw sewage and is dotted with abandoned couches, refrigerators and animal carcasses as well as, at low tide, with islands of human waste. Athletes have described the bay as an “open sewer” and raised concerns about hepatitis and other illnesses, as well as the possibility of potentially catastrophic high-speed collisions with floating detritus.

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Brazil Make Progress With Preparations

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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Olympics, World Cup spur Brazilian hotel boom

Barbara DeLollis – USA Today, 03/20/2013

If you’re planning a trip to Brazil to stroll the white sandy beaches, conduct business meetings or attend next year’s World Cup matches, chances are you’ll be able to stay in a new hotel.

And you won’t have to spend a fortune.

Brazil’s in the midst of a hotel building boom that promises to deliver thousands of newly built, moderately priced hotel rooms.

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Rio Releases 2016 Olympics Theme Song, Pretends London Olympics Were Just a Bad Dream

Caity Weaver – Gawker, 8/14/2012

Now that people can barely even remember anything that happened during the London Olympics, the world is ready to start getting excited about spending 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Accordingly, the Brazilian Olympic Committee has just released the theme song for the Rio Games.

The Hollywood Reporter describes the song as “a samba-funk anthem.” It’s titled “The Gods of Olympus Visit Rio de Janeiro” (Os Deuses do Olimpo Visitam o Rio de Janeiro in the language of supermodels).

The music video apparently depicts Apollo, Poseidon, Hercules, and Aphrodite just hanging around Rio because they love it, though the actors portraying them only resemble gods in as much as normal Brazilians resemble gods. No one is wearing gladiator sandals.

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Brazil’s president receives Olympic flag

World News Australia, 8/14/2012

The Brazilian president has received the Olympic flag, as IOC boss Jacques Rogge warned Rio de Janeiro has to “work harder” to prepare for the Games.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has received the Olympic flag, as the competition’s world governing body warned the country has to “work harder” ahead of the Rio Games in 2016.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes flew into Rio de Janeiro from London with the flag on Monday, marking the official handover of the Games.

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Brazil confident ahead of Rio 2016

Will Smale – BBC News, 8/13/2012

While millions of people around the world simply watched and enjoyed the 2012 Olympics, for Brazilian officials it was a vital opportunity to learn what worked – and what maybe did not.

With the next summer Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Brazil’s organisers were in London over the past two weeks to observe how the Games were run.

Brazil’s Vice Minister for Sport Luis Fernandes told the BBC that while he was generally very impressed, he had spotted some mistakes to avoid.

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‘It’s going to be wild’: Brazilians party in London as focus shifts to Rio 2016

NBC News, 8/13/2012

LONDON — A few miles from London’s Olympic Stadium, partying Brazilians gathered Sunday night to watch the closing handover ceremony on giant screens — and to contemplate the work ahead of them before the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Organizers of Rio 2016 have been spreading their buzzwords of “passion” and “embrace” but after a London 2012 Games that has been praised for its smooth delivery and the triumphant sporting achievement of the host nation’s athletes, they are already under scrutiny.

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, on Sunday urged Brazil to do everything it could to ensure a better performance in four years’ time after the country came 22nd in the medal standings with just three golds.

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Foreign Policy: Why Brazil Won The 2016 Olympics

Eduardo J. Gomez-NPR, 10/05/09

As of Friday, Brazil certainly has a lot more to boast about. Aside from its beautiful beaches, world-famous carnival, crowd-drawing soccer, and a renowned HIV/AIDS program, Brazil is the next host of the summer Olympic Games as declared by the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen — beating out Tokyo, Madrid, and even an Obama-backed Chicago bid. This is indeed a momentous event — and one that comes after several years of strategy, planning, and arduous efforts by Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Now, Lula will be rewarded with yet another venue to showcase Brazil and to signal the country’s growing international influence. In short, the Olympic Games will reaffirm the government’s international reputation as a leader among emerging nations.

For those familiar with Brazil’s athletic history, today’s decision seems only natural. The country breathes sports — everything from NASCAR racing, to volleyball, to soccer, to martial arts. And more importantly, perhaps, to the International Olympic Committee, the country has a long history of hosting international sporting events. In 1963, for example, Brazil hosted the Fourth Pan American games in Sao Paulo, drawing in thousands of competitors and spectators. The Pan American Games were once again hosted in 2007 in Rio, providing even more recent evidence of Brazil’s commitment and ability to host international games.

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