By Mike Rowbottom in Copenhagen
October 1 – The Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (pictured), today personified the Rio 2016 bid’s rubric of “Live your passion” here as he insisted that South America was ready to host its first Olympics – and not next time, but this time.
Asked if Rio would seek the 2020 Games in the event of losing out on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members’ vote, he responded: “I’m not regarding the idea that we will be defeated.
“This is the first time we are running, and we don’t want to be the father of the child, we want to be the child itself.
President Lula added that his final pitch to IOC members tomorrow would emphasise that Brazil was at “a magical moment” in terms of economic growth, and ready as never before to host an Olympics.
“No other place in the world has the certainty in its future that Brazil has,” he said.
“The self esteem of people is at its highest threshold following a magical moment of great possibility of financial growth, a possibility of improving the lives of the poorest people.
“In the past when Brazil has wanted to bid for big events people have said, ‘We can’t do it, we are a poor country, we are considered second class citizens.’
“Now we want to show the world ‘Yes, we can do it.
“We can organise the Games.
“We see the Olympics have only been held in highly developed countries, with the exception of Beijing last year and Mexico in 1968.
“Many of the Olympic Games have been in Europe, or the United States.
“Brazil is the only country in the largest 10 world economies not to have had the Games.
“Even in this global crisis Brazil is in a much better financial situation than the so-called rich countries.
“The crisis hit us last, and we were the first to get out of it.”
President Lula added that the arguments for Rio hosting the 2016 Games were the same as those he had used to win political elections in his country.
“A lot of people said I was not educated enough to be President, that I was working class, and I came from a trade union background.
By TALES AZZONI (AP)
RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio’s citizens are anxiously awaiting Friday’s vote on the 2016 Olympics host, hoping a victory will transform the city.
Well known for its unrivaled natural beauty and fun-loving people, Rio is also remembered for its violent crime and the poverty of millions of people living in the city’s slums.
The Cariocas, as Rio citizens are known, believe the Olympics have the power to improve basic conditions and diminish some of the city’s biggest problems.
“If Rio gets the Olympics, like I hope, it will happen. I think everything will be better here,” said 38-year-old maid Juciara Mazelo. “The government will have to do everything it’s promising to do, and things can only improve. I think we would have more jobs, less poor people, less violence on the streets.”
More than 100,000 people are expected to pack Copacabana beach Friday to support Rio, which is competing against Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo, as it makes its presentation to the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen.
Rio is trying to become the first South American city to host the games. It tried to host the Olympics three times before — in 1936, 2004 and 2012 — but never made the final stages.
“We need this, we really do,” said 30-year-old nurse Soledade da Silva. “Things need to change around here, and I think they would if we win the Olympics. With all the construction, the investment, I think it would be easier to find jobs.”
A huge Carnival-like celebration is planned if Rio wins, in part because the Cariocas know they likely will be able to count on billions of dollars in potential investment that the prestigious event can bring to the city.
Brazilian officials are promising significant improvements on infrastructure, transportation, security and other areas if the city is awarded the games.
The IOC evaluation committee praised Rio in a report last month, saying the city sees the games as an opportunity to use sport as a “catalyst for social integration” and to leave “a lasting and affordable legacy.”
Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the Olympics would bring “social transformation” to the city, the nation and the entire region.
By Joshua Goodman
(Bloomberg) — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is applying his strategy of promoting ties among Southern Hemisphere countries to the quest for Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics.
Lula has visited eight countries since April to court developing nations’ support for Rio, whose competition is Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid. Two Web sites that track the games show Rio in the lead, while U.K. bookmakers give better odds to Chicago. Both Lula, 63, and President Barack Obama will be in Copenhagen for the International Olympic Committee’s decision tomorrow.
“No other national leader is working the room so intensely as Lula,” said Ed Hula, an Olympics historian whose Atlanta- based Aroundtherings.com news service tracks the games. “He just wants it more.”
Selection of Rio would put the Olympics in South America for the first time. The games would inject $51.1 billion into the Brazilian economy through 2027, with job growth rippling through several industries, according to a study by a Sao Paulo business school.
Lula drove home his message last week in New York, where he was attending the opening meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Hosting the games shouldn’t be the exclusive privilege of rich nations,” the Brazilian leader said at a news conference. “For the other countries, it’s just another Olympics. For Brazil, it’s a chance to reaffirm our identity as a people and as a country.”
Rio is fighting perceptions of its violent crime rate and being stretched too thin by hosting the World Cup.
Lula is focusing on winning support from the 15 African members of the IOC, representing 13 nations. It’s the second- biggest contingent among the 106 members, after Europe. Africa, along with Latin America and the Caribbean, has been at the heart of Lula’s foreign policy since he took office in 2003.
Brazilian investment abroad has jumped to $20 billion a year, most of it in the developing world, according to a United Nations report. Sales of goods and service to developing nations generated 50 percent of all exports last year, up from 38 percent the year before Lula became president.
Lula has visited 19 countries in Africa and opened 15 embassies there. He was a guest of honor at the African Union summit in Libya in July and urged heads of state to have their IOC representatives vote for Brazil’s bid.
By JOHN LEICESTER (AP)
COPENHAGEN — Brazil’s leader is borrowing President Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” catchphrase to plug Rio de Janeiro’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.
A day before the International Olympic Committee selects the 2016 host, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva insisted Thursday that Rio is ready “body and soul” if picked.
At an early morning news conference, Silva largely steered clear of an ugly spat with rival Madrid that erupted in the run-up to Friday’s IOC vote. Rio’s team formally complained to the IOC on Wednesday after the city’s 2016 bid was criticized by a Spanish Olympic official.
Without naming Madrid, Silva said simply: “I don’t think it is ethically correct to speak badly about the other cities.”
He did say, however, that “the fact of the matter is that no one has presented a project of the magnitude that we presented, with the quality that we presented.”
“Some say, ‘Well Brazil maybe could have presented a smaller, more shy project, not an expensive project. This is for those that don’t believe in doing things,” he said. “We want to overcome and show the world that yes we can, we can do it.”
In Brazil, some critics say funds from Rio’s Olympic budget of more than $14 billion — larger than those of Madrid, Chicago or Tokyo — would be better spent on the city’s pressing social, education and security needs.
But the IOC, in its report evaluating the city’s bid, complimented Rio for seeing the games as an opportunity to use sport as a “catalyst for social integration” and for embracing the idea that they can transform the region and leave “a lasting and affordable legacy.”
COPENHAGEN, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) — Heads of government or state from the countries of candidate cities have begun arriving in Copenhagen to lobby for the bid of their cities for hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva arrived late Wednesday in the Danish capital to drum up support for Rio De Janeiro’s bid.
Silva, known as Lula, will meet with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members on Thursday ahead of the vote the next day.
He had appealed on Sunday to delegates from Latin American and African countries “to vote for Rio”, hoping to bring the first Olympic Games to South America.
“The world’s biggest sporting event cannot always be held in rich countries,” he said.
Among the Brazilian delegation was well-known football player Pele, who had already been in Copenhagen.
U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive here on Friday and join First Lady Michelle in Chicago’s final presentation to the IOC.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re not taking anything for granted, so I’m going to go talk to some voters,” Michelle Obama told the press upon her arrival on Wednesday in the Marriott Hotel.
She said that she would tell the IOC members that Chicago “is a wonderful host city (with) great people, great facilities.”
“It knows about sports and its hospitality is like no other,” she added.
The IOC’s 121st Session will select the host city of the 2016 summer Olympic Games among Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro and Chicago are seen as the favorites in a tight race as the Brazilian delegation hopes to bring the first Olympic games to Latin America and Obama’s presence throws heavy weight behind Chicago’e bid for hosting the largest sports event.
Obama, to be the first U. S. president to appeal in person to the IOC for an Olympics event, had previously wanted to stay at home to push forward his health care reform.
Chicago 2016 Delegation at the airport
The Rio bid was put on the defensive by International Olympic Committee suggestions this month that staging two global events back-to-back would challenge the city’s Olympic marketing strategy.
“The advertising and marketing industry in Brazil is a very competitive one,” Rio 2016 communications director Leonardo Gryner told reporters.
Gryner said Rio had a seven-year Olympics marketing strategy which would go into effect immediately should it win Friday’s poll of IOC members.
“It will start right after we win … and will keep going to 2016, including the period of the World Cup,” he said.
Rio is competing with Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo for the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The United States, Spain and Japan are all bidding to host the 2018 World Cup, with the three Olympics bid cities all expected to be involved.
COPENHAGEN – Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic bid team hit the ground running here Tuesday, making a stout case for the Games to be awarded to South America for the very first time and ruffling rival Chicago’s feathers in the process.
With just three days frantic lobbying to go before Friday’s IOC vote Rio rolled out the top brass ahead of the arrival of reinforcements in the shape of President Lula and national icon Pele, due in the Danish capital on Wednesday.
And it was impossible not to detect the dynamism that has driven them to the position of frontrunners with Chicago for the right to host the Olympics in seven years time.
From Brazilian Olympic chief Carlos Nuzman to the city’s governor Sergio Cabral and Rio mayor Eduardo Paes the message was clear: Rio is ready.
An hour-long media briefing at their hotel HQ included an elegant 10-minute film presentation as to what the Olympics would look like if Rio succeded in beating Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.
Rio’s bid masters insisted now was the right time to give the Olympics to South America.
“Rio’s Games plan is one of the most complete in Olympic history,” said Cabral.
With his politician’s hat on he added that whilst confident, Rio would be fighting for every vote right up until the ballot boxes at Copenhagen’s Bella Center close.
“We’re talking about an election here and we’re going to ask for votes until the last minute.
By JAN M. OLSEN (AP)
COPENHAGEN — Brazilian soccer great Pele isn’t worried President Barack Obama’s star power could help Chicago win the bid for the 2016 Olympics at the expense of Rio de Janeiro.
Rio is seen as a slight favorite ahead of Friday’s vote by the International Olympic Committee, but Obama’s decision to fly into Copenhagen for the final presentation could swing the ballot in Chicago’s favor. Madrid and Tokyo are the other candidates.
However, Pele said Tuesday that Rio “doesn’t compete with Obama. We are competing against Madrid, against Tokyo, against Chicago.”
The 68-year-old Pele pointed out that Rio is also bringing some big names.
“If they have Obama, we have Lula, we have Pele,” he said, referring to Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Obama announced Monday that he will go to Copenhagen, joining first lady Michelle Obama to support his adopted home town’s bid.
Rio also has a charismatic bid team, and is arguing that it is South American’s turn to host its first Olympics.
“We have some reason to believe in Rio de Janeiro, not only Rio but South America, because we have never had the Olympics,” Pele said after watching Danish teenagers playing soccer in two Copenhagen neighborhoods.
President Obama will go to Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday to counter Brazil’s attempt to win bid to host 2016 Olympics. Lula says Latin America deserves a shot.
By Andrew Downie | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
São Paulo, Brazil – Bringing justice and more power to the little guy has been a theme stressed by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva almost every day of his long political career. Now, Brazil’s president is hoping the International Olympic Committee (IOC) might see things his way.
Lula will be in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday to support Rio de Janeiro’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The self-appointed “Marvelous City” faces tough competition from Madrid, Tokyo, and especially Chicago. Today, US officials announced that President Obama would also go to Copenhagen to back Chicago’s bid.
The presidents of the US, Brazil, and Spain are expected to participate in the final presentation Friday to more than 100 members of the Olympic committee.
But while Lula and his Brazilian colleagues have hammered home the usual reasons to choose Rio – its stunning geography between mountains and ocean, its welcoming people, and its amenable climate – fairness is their main trump card.
“It’s not fair that Brazil not be chosen,” Lula said recently in one of many such appeals to delegates. “For the others it is just one more Olympics, for us it is a chance to show our self-esteem, to show our competence, and to show that we can do it better than them.”
“The United States with summer and winter Olympics has held eight. Barcelona has had it. Tokyo has had it. And South America, Latin America has only had one Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968,” the Brazilian president said.
That is a valid argument, especially given that Rio’s bid stacks up favorably against its rivals. The IOC lauded Rio’s final presentation, going as far as to congratulate it on its “increased public safety and reductions in crime,” even though the number of homicides in the city is rising.
The Olympic Games committee said Rio’s biggest challenge was lodging. Although the city is a popular tourist destination it lacks hotel beds. The technical presentation, outlining plans for infrastructure, venues, media and the Paralympic Games, among others, was described as “detailed and of a very high quality.”