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Olympics: Brazil Brings Big Guns and Big Bucks to Impress in Copenhagen

September 30th, 2009


Brazil reacted discreetly to the information that American president, Barack Obama, will travel after all to Copenhagen in Denmark to support Chicago’s candidacy to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro is confident that it will get the honor to present those competitions, becoming the first country in South America to do this in the history of the Olympics.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) and the Rio Olympic Committee (Co-Rio), already in Copenhagen, stated that Brazil is not changing any of the plans it has for its last presentation, this coming Friday.

“The chiefs of states’ participation in the campaign to host the Olympic and Paraolympic Games of 2016 is a matter of each candidacy. Rio 2016’s strategy for the final presentation has already been defined, with president Lula’s leadership, who is directly involved with the Brazilian candidacy since the beginning, two years ago.

Rio de Janeiro governor, Sérgio Cabral, signed a decree making October 2, the day the Olympics host city is chosen, a holiday for public workers in the whole state.

Brazilians apparently won’t stop at anything to impress the representatives of the International Olympic Committee (ICO) who will select the city that will host the 2016 games. The Brazilian delegation practically took over the SKT Petri Hotel one of the most luxurious hotels of Copenhagen, which got even a Brazilian flag on its roof.

According to a COB committee official, 230 of the 268 hotel rooms were rented by Brazil. The official language inside the hotel seems to be Portuguese and the workers are dressed with uniforms from the Rio 2016. Posters of Rio and the campaign to get the Olympics are plastered at the hotel main hall’s walls.

Since the SKT Petri is not enough for the Brazilian delegation some Brazilians will have to resign themselves to the Marriott Hotel.

The group has a budget of close to 1 million Brazilian reais (US$ 560,000) to house those involved in the Brazilian candidacy: sports leaders, politicians, background personnel and athletes.

Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira who led the Brazilian soccer team to the world championship of 1994, in Los Angeles, is also part of the delegation.

As for president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Sports Minister Orlando Silva Jr, Rio Governor Sergio Cabral and Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes, they will stay in the Nimb hotel.

Brazil has planned to spend US$ 101 million (US$ 56 million) in its efforts to bring the Olympics to Rio. These expenses are to be shared between the union, state, city and the private sector.

Pelé has arrived in Copenhagen Sunday. The soccer hero was mobbed by fans at his arrival at the Copenhagen international airport. He posed for pictures and signed autographs. He also declared to be happy and confident with the work done by the Rio 2016 Committee.

“I only play in winning teams,” Pelé told reporters. “I’m coming from the United States and, while talking to people, I feel that Brazil has its big chance here. South America never had an Olympics. There are 500 million people waiting for this opportunity.”

Pelé will be joined by the following Brazilian Olympic and Paraolympic athletes:

Adriana Behar, silver medal in beach volley (Sidney-2000 and Athens-2004)

Bernard Rajzman, silver medal in volley (Los Angeles-84)

Cesar Cielo, gold and bronze medals in swimming (Beijing-2008)

Daiane Santos, Olympic gymnast (Athens-2004, Beijing-2008)

Daniel Dias, nine Paraolympic medals (four golds, four silvers, a bronze, Beijing-2008)

Gustavo Kuerten, Olympic athlete in tennis (Sidney-2000 and Athens-2004)

Hortência Marcari, silver medal in basketball (Atlanta-1996)

Isabel Swan, bronze medal in sailing (Beijing-2008)

Janeth Arcain, silver and bronze medals in basketball (Atlanta-1996 and Sydney-2000)

Roseane Ferreira dos Santos, two gold medals in Paraolympic athletics (Sydney 2000)

Torben Grael, gold, silver and bronze medals in sailing (Atlanta-1996 and Athens-2004; Los Angeles-1984; Seoul-1988 and Sidney-2000)

Written by Alessandra Dalevi

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