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.
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
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.