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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Olympic Dreams Realized, Brazil Steps into the Spotlight

These are the wee hours of the morning after an IOC vote in Copenhagen and the fun is just beginning. Rio, one of the perceived co-favorites to win the rights to hold the 2016 Olympics, won the vote. No surprise. Chicago, the other perceived co-favorite finished fourth, behind Madrid and Tokyo. Surprise. How did that happen, especially when the buzz around the Marriot hotel where IOC members were staying suggested momentum might be swinging in Chicago's direction? ....
These are the wee hours of the morning after an IOC vote in Copenhagen and the fun is just beginning. Rio, one of the perceived co-favorites to win the rights to hold the 2016 Olympics, won the vote. No surprise. Chicago, the other perceived co-favorite finished fourth, behind Madrid and Tokyo. Surprise. How did that happen, especially when the buzz around the Marriot hotel where IOC members were staying suggested momentum might be swinging in Chicago's direction?
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva insisted in his pitch before Friday's International Olympic Committee vote. "It is time to light the Olympic torch in a tropical country." The IOC agreed — and that lit up a frenzied carnival in Rio de Janeiro, a city that knows how to party perhaps better than any other. As the decision was announced, the world forgot Rio's problems for a moment, especially its frightening murder rate, and watched tens of thousands of its residents, known as Cariocas, exult on Copacabana Beach, dancing to deafening music in tanga bikinis and drinking Skol and Brahma beer around a massive banner that read, "Rio Loves You." "This will bring a lot of investment to Rio," said Andressa Gomes, 19, a student teacher who came to Copacabana to "cheer, pray and celebrate." Said Lindenberg Araújo, 62, a retired telecom engineer, "I am proud to be a Brazilian an
but not just because it was about time that the Olympics go the South American Way। In fact, there's a reason that it's been four decades since a Latin American country, or any Third World country, has hosted the games. That was the Mexico City Olympiad of 1968, when Mexico convinced the IOC that it was a modern republic ready to stand alongside Britain and Japan and Australia — only to have its army massacre hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators 10 days before the opening ceremonies. The bar was set much higher for Latin America after that, meaning that a country would have to persuade the IOC that it could be a showcase for development as well as decathletes.


Michelle Obama gave an impassioned speech before the International Olympics Committee। President Obama traveled overseas -- in the middle of debates over health care and Afghanistan -- to make his personal pitch to bring the 2016 Olympics to his hometown.

But despite their efforts, the Obamas will come home empty-handed as Chicago's dreams of hosting the Games evaporated in the first round.

The news stunned those awaiting the announcement, many of whom thought the battle was between Chicago, Illinois, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio also beat out Madrid, Spain, and Tokyo, Japan, to host the games.

Although the White House says the trip was the right thing to do, some Republicans say it will have some consequences for the president.

"Other than people who like to cheer, 'We're No. 4! We're No. 4!' I don't know how this is anything but really embarrassing," Republican strategist Rich Galen said, adding that Obama's failed pitch will probably be the joke on Capitol Hill for weeks to come.

"Given the last two months starting with the August recess and all of the issues that surrounded that, I think that the White House staff, the senior staff needs to get together somewhere and figure out how they are going to fix this, because they are in a deep slump," he said.

Upon returning to the White House on Friday, Obama expressed no regret about his trip, saying it is "always a worthwhile endeavor to promote and boost the United States."

"One of the things that I think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win," the president said. "Although I wish that we had come back with better news from Copenhagen, I could not be prouder of my hometown of Chicago."

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said that although the results were "disappointing," Obama did the best he could.

Rio de Janeiro is rightfully and proudly celebrating a historic victory: being named the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics, the first South American city to host one of humankind's truly global extravaganzas। If all goes right, it will be a most memorable celebration. Athletes will participate either in or close to world famous icons such as the Maracana soccer stadium, the spiritual home of the "beautiful game," and bodacious Copacabana beach. Some events, like rowing or triathlon, will take place in the shadow of Sugarloaf mountain and the outstretched arms of Christ the Redeemer. Ah, but note that conditional: if all goes right. There is much preparation and building to do. And if it all doesn't go right, the Olympic celebration is likely to lead to much recrimination.

Cariocas, as the residents of Rio call themselves, are still reeling from the cost of the last big athletic event held in their city। The budget for the Pan American Games of 2007 was $177 million. It probably cost several times that at the end (some reports estimate it at close to $2 billion). For the biggest athletic event of all, the Rio Olympic organizing committee has set its budget at $2.82 billion, with another $11.1 billion going to related expenses such as transport, power and security. (Another $170 million has been set aside for the Paralympic Games which usually follow right after the Olympics.)

The Maracana soccer stadium, left, and the Maracanazinho volleyball venue in Rio de Janeiro are seen in this illustration released by Comite Rio 2016. The International Olympic Committee will select the winning bid for the 2016 Olympics on Oct. 2, 2009. Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid are competing to be the chosen city

7 comments:

naveen said...

u like barak obama? wat u like in Obama

smileMan said...

hai .. glad to see your blog, it was interesting ..

if you want we can exchange links, ..

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www.roadstoaceh.blogspot.com

Tatiana said...

Hello,
How are you?
I´m brazilian and I am proud a lot of my country, that is the best country for visiting, better people, better places! The Olympic Games could not be for other country! Especially because we are a people that respect the cultures, the differences, races and religions. We didn't accept wars, conflicts and sadness! We are very happy and be welcome!

O mar me encanta completamente... said...

Hello!
An honor to have such a distinguished personality of my select friends.
What I write, I do not know if they are truly poem,
not claim for them any beauty.
It is, however sincere, perhaps a brief moment of fullness.
Welcome always.

My love

Glória

Jose Ramon Santana Vazquez said...

... ...traigo
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y
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este
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que
viene
para
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tu
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blog
con
un
ramillete
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desde mis
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Y AULA DE PAZ


TE SIGO TU BLOG




CON saludos de la luna al
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AFECTUOSAMENTE
BARACK OBAMA




jose
ramon...

MZ ARIFIN said...

olympic, yes. obama, yes.

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