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Brazzil - Sports - May 2004
 

Why the Olympics Honchos Snubbed Brazil

New York and Madrid garnered a better security rating than
Rio from the International Olympic Committee despite having
suffered terrorist attacks recently, O Globo reported begrudgingly,
adding: Rio authorities believed the Olympic Games would
solve the city's problems, instead of addressing them beforehand.

Luis Waldmann


Brazzil

Picture Brazilians were taken aback last Tuesday when Rio de Janeiro was ruled out to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Rio ranked seventh out of 9 candidates, causing the city's second Olympic foray to go awry.

The elimination precluded Rio from receiving nearly US$ 1 billion in investments, according to the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

A deficient transport system and a lack of hotels were among the items that outweighed the likes of Copacabana beach and helped doom Rio's prospects.

Under the headline "Beauty alone is not enough", Rio de Janeiro-based O Globo newspaper said that "so many problems pushed the Marvelous City into seventh place, and once again delayed the dreams of the Cariocas (people of Rio) to see the Olympics take place in Rio".

The Brazilian city couldn't live up to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) minimum requirements and didn't make its shortlist. Neither did Istanbul, Havana or Leipzig.

Estimates by the Brazilian Olympic Committee asserted Rio could fetch US$ 835 million in ticket, product and sponsorship sales. Madrid predicted US$ 842 million, prompting the IOC to fear that Rio was way too optimistic.

The IOC again exposed its penchant for the developed world, since only developed countries are on the shortlist unveiled last Tuesday, said the editors of Jornal do Brasil. No South American country has ever held the world's biggest sports event.

Four of the remaining cities are European and three of which have already hosted the Olympics before.

"Rio's elimination was a political decision," O Globo quoted the Brazilian Sports Minister Agnelo Queiroz as saying. He complained about what he considers to be a monopoly held by a few continents.

New York and Madrid garnered a better security rating than Rio despite having suffered terrorist attacks recently, O Globo reported begrudgingly.

One of the shortcomings of the ill-fated 2004 Olympics bid was that Rio authorities believed the Olympic Games would solve the city's problems, instead of addressing them beforehand, according to O Globo.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the unfazed head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, is now focused on the 2007 Pan American Games, to be hosted in Rio.

The IOC might have just chosen to wait and see how the 2007 Pan Am Games go, Nuzman told Jornal do Brasil.

"That's another reason for us to work hard and look forward to an excellent Pan Am," Jornal do Brasil quoted Nuzman as saying.

The final vote is to be cast in Singapore on July 6th, 2005. The remaining cities are London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris.


Luis Waldmann is a freelance writer based in Rio de Janeiro and can be reached at editor@bnbureau.com.br.


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