Lifestyle & Belief

Are you ready, Rio? Brazil braces for Olympic 2016 spotlight


Brazil's singer Marisa Monte performs at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games in London on August 12, 2012. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games.


Leon Neal

Brazil's already bringing home the Olympic spirit with the Rio de Janeiro busy preparing to host the 2016 games, reported BBC News

But Rio's hosting of the World Cup two years from now will be seen as a litmus test for the arrival of the Olympic sporting event -- the first summer games ever hosted by a South American country, according to Australia's Herald Sun

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Meanwhile, the city's hard at work on over 230 projects for the next summer games, 65 of which are nearly done, the Sun said, citing the International Olympic Committee. 

But details are a bit "scarce," according to the Sun, with organizers declining to elaborate on the budget for the event in a London meeting with reporters today. Britain's games cost upwards of $14 billion. 

Yep. Brazil's sprawling metropolis, home to some six million and plagued with everything from infrastructure challenges to fractious economic divisions, has taken on a lot as high-profile sporting events loom ever nearer. 

"Can roughed-up Rio be ready for the 2016 Olympics?" wondered Canada's CBC in a recent headline

Brazilian officials claim to be under no illusions. "It's not like we're going to be perfect by the end of the Games," Rio mayor Eduardo Paes told BBC today

"Brazil still has a long way to go, Rio still has a long way to go, but it is going to be a more equal, more just, more integrated city after the games," Paes said. 

It will also have to be a more interconnected city, given that the event's proposed Olympic Park is well beyond the reach of the metro (all two lines that the city has) and bus transportation, said BBC

Another metro line is supposedly in the works, though -- once construction workers tackle that gigantic hill of solid granite in the way.

But Britain's The Guardian today praised the games' upcoming South American journey, saying it's about time the Olympics got a little less "Eurocentric."

With London the 29th of a total of 48 Olympic games held on the European continent, the Guardian's Peter Nichols pointed out it's rather funny to see this landmark non-European sporting event the first to feature two very un-exotic sporting traditions: Rugby and golf. 

Still, Rio's going to take a swing at this whole hosting thing -- hoping there's a whole lot to be won. Er, a hole in one.