Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Thousands of Cariocas celebrate victory at Copacabana beach

It was on October 2 at 1.50 pm local time that Rio de Janeiro (the happiest city on earth according to Forbes magazine)was chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.Thousands of Cariocas (citizens of Rio)celebrated in ecstasy as Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Commitee announced that their city had beaten Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago in the election.
The fun had begun several hours before on the sandy beach in front of the Copacabana Palace, the city´s most famous hotel.Local singers such as Lulu Santos and Revelacao made the anxious crowd dance and sing in front of a giant screen and stage.

"Around the Rings" and "Games Bids", two well known websites that specialize in forecasting the winners of these events, got it wrong this time.Both had predicted that it would be a close finish between Rio and Chicago, but the Northamerican city was eliminated early on along with Tokyo.Not even the presence of Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in Copenhagen could help Chicago´s bid. However Obama was present at Copacabana in the form of a local lookalike ( see the photo).

Brazil´s delegation included President Lula da Silva,Pele,Joao Havelange(former head of FIFA),Paulo Coelho and Sergio Cabral, governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro.Cabral and his successors will have a tough job in order to improve the city´s public transport system and eliminate the drug trafficking gangs.It is normal for scores of people to be killed in shootouts between police and the traffickers each week.Not only will Rio host the Olympics, in 2014 several matches of that years FIFA Football World Cup will be played there, including the final match at the famous Maracana stadium, that will have to be modernized. The announcement of Rio´s victory had an instant effect on the economy.The price of shares in the local stockmarket went up, especially those of airlines and construction companies. The price of the US dollar against the Brazilian Real was greatly devaluated and is at present at 1.77 reals for every dollar.