Monday, Oct. 5
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – The Olympic Games constitute the largest sporting event a city can host, and Rio de Janeiro will take up the challenge in 2016. After beating Madrid in the final vote on Oct. 2, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that, in addition to being synonymous with beaches and seduction, the Brazilian city will now bear the mark of the colored rings, which represent the five continents coming together for fair sporting competition.
“The Marvelous City” celebrated its selection as host for the Olympics with tears of joy shed by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, reported EFE, and the cheers of millions of Brazilians who watched the televised IOC announcement from Copenhagen, Denmark. More than 50,000 locals gathered early in the day on the famous Copacabana beach.
After the initial shock of seeing Chicago, considered to be the other frontrunner, ruled out on the giant screens installed by the local government, the Brazilians cried, hugged each other and began the chant of “Rio is the champion,” which continued throughout the rest of the day.
The concerts and celebrations to the rhythm of the samba that ensued, EFE assured, were not unworthy of the carnival. Rio de Janeiro immediately began working out the figures. According to O Globo, the city will receive public and private investments in organization and infrastructure totaling approximately US$14.4 billion.
A study by the Sports Ministry estimates that the Brazilian economy will benefit from the movement of an additional US$24.4 billion through 2016, and the preparatory stage will result in the creation of 120,000 jobs.
According to statements by the Tourism Ministry to Folha de São Paulo, as an organizer of the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the number of tourists visiting Rio will increase markedly from 2010 onwards. The city already receives 1.8 million travelers a year.
Carlos Nuzman, president of the organizing committee, told EFE that the city faces the challenges of building the Olympic Village, improving security and expanding its transport network, which will include the construction of approximately 310 miles of track for a high speed train from São Paulo.
Lula da Silva put on a display of just how excited the country is about the occasion and explained to Folha de São Paulo that he was not embarrassed to have cried in Copenhagen, because Rio being chosen made him reflect on his own life and the things that “once seemed impossible.”