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Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Bid
Will Rio be the first South American host city for the games?
Beom-seok Sohn (gmitil10)     Print Article 
Published 2009-07-13 15:05 (KST)   
As we look at the final candidate cities selected for the 2016 Summer Olympics, one can't help but notice Rio de Janeiro. The other three chosen cities: Tokyo, Chicago, and Madrid, are all, in many ways, expected picks. Yet Rio de Janeiro is a surprising and unique pick for many reasons. It was chosen as an official candidate city over Doha, which scored higher than Rio de Janeiro on the preliminary IOC evaluation and has experience from the 2006 Asian Games.(1) If chosen, Rio de Janeiro would also be the very first South American city to host the Summer Olympic Games.(1) Rio de Janeiro also has four failed attempts to host the Olympics.(2) Despite all of this, it is without a doubt that Rio de Janeiro brings a new element of dynamism and excitement that makes it a very interesting and appealing candidate city.

The whole process began when the Brazilian Olympic Committee began, in July 28, 2006, to discuss the possibility of a Brazilian city applying to host the 2016 Olympics.(3) The two main options were Sao Paulo (Brazil셲 largest city) and Rio de Janeiro. In the end, the BOC opted for Rio de Janeiro, citing its seemingly superior infrastructure.

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Furthermore, Rio de Janeiro has extensive experience from the 2007 Pan American Games. It is also expected to, along with other cities like Sao Paulo, gain valuable experience when Brazil hosts the World Cup in 2014.

In addition to the significant infrastructure and experience gained from the 2007 Pan American Games and from the 2014 World Cup, what other advantages give Rio de Janeiro an edge in the bidding process?

Firstly, Rio de Janeiro's bid maintains enormous public and political support from within Brazil. In fact, the city scored highest on the 쐅overnment support, legal issues and public opinion theme during the preliminary evaluation by the IOC.(4) Furthermore, such significant support by the government will naturally make it more convenient to find funding for the bid.

Yet one problem that may be plaguing the city셲 chances is an issue that almost undermined the city's (and the country's) bids for the 2007 Pan American Games and the 2014 World Cup: safety and security. While Rio de Janeiro scored highest on the category for 쐅overnment support, legal issues, and public opinion, it concurrently had its lowest score in the 쐓afety and security theme.(4) Significant incidences of violent crime and gang violence continue to exist in the city, although conditions seem to have improved markedly in recent years. It will be interesting to see how this will factor into the city셲 chances and candidacy.

With its slogan "Live your passion", a successful bid by Rio de Janeiro would undoubtedly bring new colors and excitement onto the Olympic stage. The IOC has broken tradition once by choosing Rio de Janeiro over the higher-scoring Doha.

Will it break tradition again by choosing a South American city to host the Summer Olympics for the first time? We will have to wait and see.

1. "Race for the 2016 Games -." OhmyNews International. 07 July 2009 .

2. "Past Results." GamesBids.com. 07 July 2009 .

3. "Rio looking forward to bigger things as Panams close | Sports | Reuters." Reuters.com - World News, Financial News, Breaking US & International News. 07 July 2009

4. "Rio de Janeiro bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 07 July 2009 .
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Beom-seok Sohn

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