And the Winner is…


Rio wins.jpgRio de Janeiro! The International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded Brazil the honor (and burden) of hosting the 2016 Olympics. Despite strong pitches from three heavyweight cities, Madrid, Chicago, and Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro won the bid.
The Olympic Games will be held in South America for the first time in the long history of the games. While all of South America will celebrate this decision as a win for the entire continent, make no mistake, this is Brazil’s time to shine.
Brazil has taken the World stage by storm in recent years and the IOC’s decision serves as another affirmation that Brazil is truly a global heavyweight. Their role as one of the world’s strongest emerging economies has provided them significant influence in both the North and the South.
Brazil is a driving force in the G20; the recent news that the G20 will replace the G8 as the primary economic council of wealthy nations can be attributed to the hard work of President Lula da Silva of Brazil. Brazil is also the likely choice for a permanent seat on an expanded UN Security Council, which would certainly solidify their place in the World.
On the economic front, Brazil has a rapidly developing and diverse economy. The IMF reported just this week that Brazil is set to lead the rest of Latin America out of the recession. The country’s economy reported a 1.9% growth in the second quarter this year, effectively making them the first in Latin America, and one of the first G20 nations, to emerge from the recession.
While Brazil’s efforts to be recognized by the world as an important player are finally coming to fruition, they have yet to fully take on the responsibility that comes along with the recognition. In an event at the New America Foundation yesterday, former Foreign Minister of Mexico, Jorge Castaneda, stated that Brazil, “wants to be present, but doesn’t want to take sides” on important regional and international issues.
President Lula de Silva wants to be Latin America’s diplomatic leader, but he allows Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to outshout him on regional matters. Castaneda offered an excellent analysis of the steps Brazil must take to become a responsible leader. I think it’s just a matter of time before Brazil finds its voice and their sense of responsibility catches up with their popularity.
Congratulations Brazil!
— Faith Smith


8 comments on “And the Winner is…

  1. Imad says:

    I came upon this article in Indonesia…
    Brazil asks Indonesia’s support for Summer Olympics
    It was intruiging to me, but this is the only article to mention this, you can’t find any other media outlet to confirm this.
    Well, I’d say “Good for Rio!” I agree with this article and I do believe that this is certainly an opportunity for Brazil to shine. Well, we’ll see…In another 7 years.


  2. JohnH says:

    More on Chicago’s Olympic sickness–
    “Chicago 2016 was poked and prodded continuously by local media, which dug into serious concerns about the cost overruns that taxpayers would have been forced to cover. Chicago residents were left wondering whether the Summer Games would be a boon for the region’s economic development, or a boondoggle aiding the cronies of Mayor Richard Daley — many of whom have deep ties to the Obama administration.
    In recent weeks, polls have made clear that, despite the patriotic Olympic fervor portrayed by national media, millions of Chicagoans had turned against the bid. Add in the city’s infrastructure concerns — such as a woefully outdated and limping public transit system — and the symbolism of the first Olympics in South America, and it’s not exactly a shock that Chicago won’t host the Games.
    More amazing, though, is how much money the major Midwestern corporations — and Chicago’s social elite — spent on the city’s effort. Merrill Lynch, JPMorganChase, and United Airlines were three of a long list of donors who contributed $72.8 million just to get to Copenhagen. That’s more than the budget of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, and it doesn’t count the untold millions worth of in-kind contributions from major law firms and other consultants.
    In a city with well over 500,000 people living below the poverty line, that’s serious cash. The best that locals here can say is that, with the city losing its bid, at least they know another $250 million or more won’t be wasted to gear up for 2016.”


  3. Daniel Lima Sampaio says:

    Very good article, but…
    It’s Lula DA Silva…
    HUGO Chavez!
    And VIVA RIO 2016!!


  4. Bob says:

    Cesar Chavez?


  5. JohnH says:

    Professional sports owners are professional leeches. The example of Los Angeles makes that abundantly clear. For years, football owners have shunned one of America’s most lucrative markets, simply because the public won’t shell out the big bucks the owners feel they’re entitled to in terms of stadiums, etc.
    It’s a pitiful sight to see Obama stoop to begging for such leeches.


  6. Zathras says:

    Interesting. The vote totals reported in the Washington Post showed Madrid and Tokyo getting almost exactly the same number of votes in the second round that they got in the first. Just about everyone who voted for Chicago in the first round appears to have voted for Rio after that.


  7. WigWag says:

    Now, if only softball and baseball were returned to the Olympics everything would be great. The IOC eliminated baseball and softball claiming that they are “too American.” Now they’ve decided to put the summer games in South America where softball and especially baseball are huge. Yes, this is more true of Latin American than Brazil, but in virtually everyone of Brazil’s neighbors baseball is the national pass time.
    Here’s a little more on this from the AP
    They’rrre out! Olympics drop baseball, softball
    Sports eliminated for 2012 Games, but could win way back in 2016
    updated 12:41 a.m. ET, Sat., July 9
    SINGAPORE – The International Olympic Committee delivered a shocking message to baseball and softball on Friday: Yer out!
    The two sports were kicked out of the Olympics, unwanted by international sports officials who felt they were too American for the world sports stage.
    The decision, made during a secret vote in Singapore, is effective for the 2012 London Games, meaning the two sports will have a final fling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The sports, the first eliminated since polo in 1936, are eligible to reapply for the 2016 Games.


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