‘I confess to you if I die right now my life would have been worth it.’ — Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazilian president
‘Read Brazilian pundits on Rio 2016: MBA in stupidity!’ — Paul Coelho, Rio 2016 team
‘Just told my Brazilian friends that I will fulfill my promise: To be upside down on the eve of the Olympics in Rio.’ — Paul Coelho, Rio 2016 team
London got the 2012 Olympics, but many Londoners did not want it. Chicago wanted 2016, but despite or maybe because of the intervention by President Obama, did not get it.
Rio wanted it and got it.
The winning team at Copenhagen included footballer Pele and writer Paulo Coelho.
I have never been to Rio. My only ‘experience’ is therefore through the films Favela Rising and City of God. Favela Rising I saw at the Beyond TV film festival a couple of years ago. City of God I have seen more recently. Both feature the violence of the favelas.
And through the music of AfroReggae, a group that has its roots in the violence of the favelas. A few years ago, AfroReggae were the act that opened the Rolling Stones concert in Rio, the start of a world tour by the Stones
Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho starts with a girl being picked up on Rio’s famous Copacabana beach. The action then quickly moves to Europe. The only novel by Paulo Coelho that has any setting in Brazil.
After Rio was awarded the 2016 Olympics, Paulo Coelho told his Brazilian friends that he will fulfill his promise to be upside down on the eve of the Olympics in Brazil. He will then be aged 70. Some weird Brazilian tradition?
The Olympics leaves behind a toxic legacy to all the cities that host it. More a curse than a blessing. Two weeks of glory, decades of counting the cost. London 2012 has already destroyed many small businesses and wildlife habitats. Let us hope Rio fares better.
Brazil will now host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics two years later.
World attention will now be focused on Brazil. The world has given Brazil the Olympics, it is now time for Brazil to give something to the world, to protect the Amazon rainforest.
Many thanks to Paulo Coelho for sending me the pictures of the Rio 2016 team in Copenhagen.
Note this is a repost of same article from 3 October 2009, which for reasons unknown will not let me add tags, nor does it appear on main blog! Rio 2016 http://wp.me/pEcZI-C