Americas’ Eyes on Brazil. Pan-American Games Start

Christ the Redeemer ready for the Pan Games The big opening party for Brazil's Pan-American Games tonight almost didn't happen if it weren't for the prompt action of the police. Agents from the FNS (National Security Force) who are in Rio for the event took over the Maracanã field to protect the stage for the opening ceremonies.

The company responsible for building the stand threatened to take it down a few hours before the opening ceremonies alleging that they were never paid for their work by the CO-RIO, the games' organizing committee. Payments, it seems, ended up being made and everything is ready for the opening extravaganza now.

This is the biggest sports event ever hosted by Rio de Janeiro. After five years of preparations, the 15th Pan-American Games start today with the biggest number of athletes in the history of the event – 5,648 – coming from 42 countries in the Americas to compete in 34 sports.

This is the second time Brazil host the Pan. The first time it happened more than 40 years ago, in 1963 in São Paulo.

The city is also playing with an eye to future World Cups and Olympics, which Rio would also like to host. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and eight other chiefs of state are taking part in the opening ceremonies.

"Rio has potential and will be a strong candidate to host the 2016 Olympics," said Jacques Rogge the president of the International Olympic Committee (COI), after visiting the Pan's facilities.

The Brazilian delegation is the biggest ever. They are bringing 659 athletes hoping to make history. The Brazilian Olympic Committee is hopeful that Brazil will get as many as 152 medals including 42 gold ones. 

Organizers are expecting 90,000 people at the Maracanã. About 1,000 agents of the Public Security National Force will be on hand in the stadium and around it to guarantee order.

And some 400 volunteer guides will be helping people find their seats inside the Maracanã. Spectators have been asked to dress in white or light colors, which according to the organizers is better suited to the lights show prepared for the event.
Brazil also wants to show the world the country's cultural diversity. About 4,500 artists, all volunteers, will represent the nation's energy.

Scott Givens, Disney's entertainment vice president, is the man in charge of the opening show, which has been in the works for more than one year.

"The structure is gigantic. I've been working for 16 months in the project and I still don't know everything that's in it. I use to say that this production is like guiding the Titanic, in the good sense," said the opening ceremonies director Luis Stein.

Although the initial budget called for 172 million reais (US$ 91 million) the Brazilian federal government ended up spending about 1.8 billion reais (US$ 950 million) to stage the games. Total costs for the Pan reached 3.7 billion reais (US$ 1,960 billion).


  • Show Comments (8)

  • forest Brown

    wife saw it on ESPN said LULA was so mad he went from a smile to turning away from the people and holding his head down
    but it could have been the long stay outside and the drunks had a chance to fill up on curage and blame LULA for it as he and the VIPS just walked
    in without any of the hassels of people

    saw one sign where they were sellilg beer for $ 300 a bottle
    cabs are set on 2 all the time
    i can just see how much the restaurants have jacked up the food in good places to eat that all the tourtist will eat at
    lots of money will change hands for nothing
    and the PM how much will they get on bribes and rob from the people for false crimes

  • ch.c.

    Lets face it……
    the costs ended up 1O TIMES HIGHER THAN THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATES !!!!!

    This shows how brazilians are either cheaters and liars, or really bad in simple maths.

    OR BOTH !!!!!!

  • gringo rio

    Go Braves!!
    get er done Tim!

  • gringo rio

    Were the US Athletes booed?
    i was reading o globo online and they said that the US players were boo’d … i was watching it on tv and the only person i heard boo’d was president Lula. what is the problem with Globo’s editors. it really feels like they want to anti-american drama. it’s getting annoying.

    did anyone else hear the US athletes get boo’d.

  • Ric

    What AmericaÀ‚´s eyes are on Brazil for the Pan games? I just checked the normal 60 channel U.S. TV grid on the web and there is nothing about this sports event on any of those 60 channels. Lotsa reruns, rassling, Pirates play the Braves. But in this case it looks like what happens in Rio stays in Rio. Too bad because unless I missed something, won’t be much foreign TV ad revenue for this big event.

  • João da Silva

    To:Forrest/Americas’ Eyes on Brazil. Pan-American Games Start
    [quote]Americas’ Eyes on Brazil. Pan-American Games Start [/quote]

    What a pity,Admiral, you are not here to inaugurate the games nor George Bush 😉

    [quote]long live the beer

    Wholeheartedly agree with you, Madre Deus. Have a great week end drinking beer.

  • madre deus

    viva a cervejinha
    long live the beer

  • forest Brown

    talking about price increse from cabs to hookers
    clothes , food , seats ,
    the side walk servers
    have set up the price even for the PF within the 10k raidus of the staduim
    and the beach well they are pickinng out there mugging sites as i write.

    but in true brasilian try not to pay the little guy fro his work

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