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Re: [borderpoint] Congratulations to Rio :-)

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  • David Kendall
    ... My city of Winnipeg hosted the 1999 Pan-Am games (I got to take in one of the events too, I really enjoyed it!) I remember a few of the visiting countries
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 3, 2009
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      > First, Rio successfully hosted the 2007 Pan-
      > American Games, which are like a smaller version of the
      > Olympics.

      My city of Winnipeg hosted the 1999 Pan-Am games (I got to take in one of the events too, I really enjoyed it!) I remember a few of the visiting countries said that we did such a good job that we should host it every time! :) I was surprised that such a big scope athletic event was so successfully hosted here, as Winnipeg's population is only about 700,000 tops - while we did admittedly do a great job with the Pan Am Games, I don't think anyone would seriously expect a city of our size to ably host an Olympics. (The only smaller size city I can think of that hosted the summer games was 1920 Antwerp - but perhaps we can bid on the Winter Games one year, surely we're bigger than Lillehammer!)

      > Fourth, weather couldn't be better: the "Summer" Olympics will
      > happen in the Southern Hemisphere's winter, when Rio has very
      > pleasant temperatures (18-26°C, or 64-80°F) and it's also the
      > dry season. (In summer - that  is, November-March - Rio is
      > a hell of up to 40°C/104°F, very high humidity and frequent
      > torrential rains.)

      I always thought that the Summer Games had to happen when (or around) the host city's summer. The only other times the games have been south of the equator was 1956 (November-December: summer) and 2000 (September-October: early spring). But I guess I'm wrong. I wonder if they'd let a northern hemisphere city that has pleasant winters get away with hosting the summer games in the winter? (Mexico City was late fall, that's the only example I can come up with post WWII)

      > Fifth, Brazil had the best political profile of all the
      > candidate countries. The U.S. is sensitive to many countries,
      > such as Iran or Cuba, and a natural magnet for terrorist
      > attacks, as Atlanta and later Sept. 11 showed tragically well.
      > The "paranoia" at borders and airports that has been discussed
      > here and the increasingly stringent visa requirements didn't
      > help either. Spain is a NATO member, and the Madrid train
      > bombings showed that it is a terrorist target as well. Japan is
      > also a close U.S. ally with a strong American military presence.
      > By contrast, Brazil has a more independent posture, is not a
      > member of any military alliance, has no foreign enemies and
      > peaceful relations with all countries (except perhaps Honduras
      > for now...) and no direct involvement in any major international
      > conflict or issue. It has also been a stable democracy for 24
      > years now, even managing to oust a corrupt president in strictly
      > constitutional terms and without this causing any institutional
      > crisis - something that a few decades ago would have been
      > unbelievable for a Latin American country.

      Political factors always change, though. Who knows what political alliances Brazil will have 7 years from now ...

      > The U.S. sent Michelle Obama, the President himself appeared for
      > only a few hours, and there was also Oprah Winfrey, who is a
      > mega-celebrity within the U.S., but not in the rest of the
      > world, and totally unrelated to sports. The governor of Illinois
      > and the mayor of Chicago didn't bother to appear. That felt
      > arrogant - the U.S., Illinois and Chicago city government didn't
      > show the same level of support as Brazil or Spain, and Oprah was
      > seen as cultural colonialism.

      That may be true, but keep in mind the Obamas and Oprah are probably the most famous Chicagoans in the world (I know that Obama was born in Hawaii, but Chicago was his most recent residence, and was where he gave his victory speech). Had the President been from, oh, I don't know, Texas ;) he may not have come.


      --
      David Kendall
      dhkendall@...
      blog:  http://thecanuckguy.livejournal.com/
    • Goyta' F. Villela Jr.
      ... But Melbourne has a much cooler climate than Rio in summer... It s really oppressive there, I don t know how they survive it! I ve always lived at
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 3, 2009
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        > I always thought that the Summer Games had to happen when (or
        > around) the host city's summer. The only other times the games have
        > been south of the equator was 1956 (November-December: summer) and
        > 2000 (September-October: early spring).

        But Melbourne has a much cooler climate than Rio in summer... It's really oppressive there, I don't know how they survive it! I've always lived at high-altitude places, so I'm not used to that much heat!

        > But I guess I'm wrong. I wonder if they'd let a northern hemisphere
        > city that has pleasant winters get away with hosting the summer
        > games in the winter? (Mexico City was late fall, that's the only
        > example I can come up with post WWII)

        I suppose this has more to do with the TV seasons in the Northern Hemisphere's markets. This wasn't an issue in 1956 (Melbourne) or 1968 (Mexico City) - satellite TV transmissions didn't exist in 1956, and were in their infancy in 1968. Sydney 2000 was a bit too late, but Sydney would probably be too cold in July or August. And Doha's 2016 candidacy was (at least allegedly) eliminated because Qatar wanted to make the Olympics in October, to avoid the scorching desert heat of mid-year.

        > > (...) Brazil has a more independent posture, is not a
        > > member of any military alliance, has no foreign enemies and
        > > peaceful relations with all countries (except perhaps Honduras
        > > for now...) and no direct involvement in any major international
        > > conflict or issue.
        >
        > Political factors always change, though. Who knows what political
        > alliances Brazil will have 7 years from now ...

        Probably the same as today: none, except the Mercosul/Mercosur economic community. Brazil is trying to gain more international presence, recognition and leverage, but it has always tended to stay away from political alignments and conflicts. The only exception was the Getúlio Vargas dictatorship (1930-45) - he was a Fascist who was going to align himself to Hitler and Mussolini, but the U.S. bought his support first, established a military base in Natal in the Northeast, and Brazil sent a small contingent to fight in Europe in WWII. Since then, the country has always steered clear of any direct alignment, even though it was a discreet U.S. ally during the military rule period (1964-85). At most, Brazil sent troops to join the U.N. peacekeeping forces in Haiti and Timor-Leste (the latter being of particular interest because it is a former Portuguese territory and shares the same official language as Brazil).

        Military alliances are especially unlikely because after 21 years under their heavy-handed rule, nobody in Brazil wants to give them much power. The military are highly distrusted here - and not without good reasons. Of the two strongest candidates for the next presidential term, one was tortured and the other exiled by the military dictatorship, so this distrust is likely to continue.

        Regards,

        Goytá
      • Lowell G. McManus
        ... I don t know if there are any members from Chicago in this group, but I m going to write my feelings. If anyone feels differently, he may post his.
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 3, 2009
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          Goytá quoted my statement:

          > Yes, congratulations to Brazil and to Rio! Many (and perhaps most)
          > Americans are glad that Chicago did not get it.

          ... and then he asked:

          > Why is that, Lowell?

          I don't know if there are any members from Chicago in this group, but I'm
          going to write my feelings. If anyone feels differently, he may post his.

          Chicago is arguably the ultimate American symbol of political corruption,
          and it has been so for generations. There is a phrase, "the Chicago way,"
          that refers to bribery, fraud, and political machine politics as a matter of
          course--something that should have no place in a democracy. There are other
          examples of corruption among American cities and states, but Chicago and
          Illinois are probably the most consistently worst. Chicago is also the
          leading home of the personality cult in 20th- and 21st-century American
          politics, in the personae of: (1) the Daley dynasty, which runs the city;
          and (2) Obama and his Chicago cronies, who have now brought "the Chicago
          way" and government by "czar" to the federal level in Washington.

          In a city and state where nothing happens without bribes changing hands, and
          where the Governor sold a seat in the US Senate, does anyone seriously
          think that the Olympic preparations could actually be done in an honest or
          even competent manner? At best, there would be continuous scandal fed by
          massive waste, fraud, and abuse. At worst, the politicians would steal most
          of the money and leave the preparation unfinished, forcing the games to be
          either cancelled, moved, or split among multiple venues in other countries.
          It would be a colossal shame for our country in the eyes of the world.
          That, we do not need!

          Lowell G. McManus
          Eagle Pass, Texas, USA
        • Phil
          Hi all, Interesting post by Goyta, with relations to the seasons of the year, it seams to me that many people from the Northern Hemisphere simply do not
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 3, 2009
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            Hi all,
            Interesting post by Goyta,
            with relations to the seasons of the year, it seams to me that many people from the Northern Hemisphere simply do not understand or know the seasons are reverse to thier situation in the southern hemisphere.
            Living in Foz do Iguaçu I often encounter tourists,you would not belive how many people arrive in shorts and t-shirts in July to find it is 8c and -2c at night,"I thaught Brazil was always hot", or arrive in January from a cold Europe or N.America to 40c, "if this is the heat in winter,what is summer like?" ,But this is summer!!, or my favourite after explainig to a tourist the situation in the southern hemisphere, "ah I see here the winter is hot and the summer cold"!!
            In te reverse I have spoken to Brasillian friends who find it hard to comprehend that Christmas in Europe is the coldest time of the year.
            Having said the above I belive only around 10% of the worlds population lives south of the equator.
            With regards to the olympics congratulations Rio,
            Hope this post is not too of topic, at least it comes from a city with a tri point,
            Have a great weekend all and enjoy the Spring sunshine(if South of the Equator)!
            Regards to all Phil
          • Goyta' F. Villela Jr.
            ... Thanks, Phil! ... I thought they had Geography classes at school there... I remember seeing in the extras of one of the Lord of the Rings DVDs an
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 3, 2009
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              > Hi all,
              > Interesting post by Goyta, with relations to the seasons of the
              > year,

              Thanks, Phil!

              > it seams to me that many people from the Northern Hemisphere simply
              > do not understand or know the seasons are reverse to thier situation
              > in the southern hemisphere.

              I thought they had Geography classes at school there...

              I remember seeing in the extras of one of the "Lord of the Rings" DVDs an interview with Liv Tyler where she recalled arriving in New Zealand in mid-year to shoot the movie, completely forgetting that it was winter there - and New Zealand is VERY cold in winter, especially as most of the shooting took place on the South Island. They had to provide her with an emergency set of clothes, otherwise she'd freeze.

              > Living in Foz do Iguaçu I often encounter tourists,you would not
              > belive how many people arrive in shorts and t-shirts in July to find
              > it is 8c and -2c at night,"I thaught Brazil was always hot", or
              > arrive in January from a cold Europe or N.America to 40c, "if this
              > is the heat in winter,what is summer like?" ,But this is summer!!,

              That is absolutely moronic!

              > or my favourite after explainig to a tourist the situation in the
              > southern hemisphere, "ah I see here the winter is hot and the summer
              > cold"!!

              Unbelievable! I don't know if I laugh or cry...

              > In te reverse I have spoken to Brasillian friends who find it hard
              > to comprehend that Christmas in Europe is the coldest time of the
              > year.

              That's being too clueless as well, considering that we here have the same Santa Claus in heavy clothing, snowy Christmas cards and the like - something that has always been criticised as ridiculous for a mostly tropical country that is in the height of summer in Christmas, but no one has ever managed to change... But at least here we have the excuse of a (supposedly) much worse educational system...

              It seems that the earth's yearly revolution movements around the sun are not a popular school curriculum subject most anywhere...

              > Having said the above I belive only around 10% of the worlds
              > population lives south of the equator.

              Probably something like that. The only populous countries in the Southern Hemisphere are Brazil (almost all) and Indonesia (most), both with 9-digit populations, with the DR Congo (half), Kenya (half), Tanzania, South Africa and Argentina in the "relatively populous" category (at least 30 million people, but less than 100 million).

              > With regards to the olympics congratulations Rio,
              > Hope this post is not too of topic, at least it comes from a city
              > with a tri point,

              Not to mention one of the most spectacular waterfalls on earth, which is also on a national border...

              > Have a great weekend all and enjoy the Spring sunshine(if South of
              > the Equator)!

              Spring sunshine? Are you kidding? So far we have only had gloomy cloudy cold days here in São Paulo, and it will get worse, as we are now entering the rainy season here (after already having had an anomalously rainy winter this year), and another El Niño period is starting, meaning more rain in this part of the world... :-(

              Regards,

              Goytá
            • Michael Adams
              ... Oddly, I thought I read that one of the points both for and against Rio was the perception that they successfully hosted the Pan American Games in spite of
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 4, 2009
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                On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 9:44 PM, Lowell G. McManus <lgm@...> wrote:

                > In a city and state where nothing happens without bribes changing hands, and
                > where the Governor sold a seat in the US Senate, does anyone seriously
                > think that the Olympic preparations could actually be done in an honest or
                > even competent manner?

                Oddly, I thought I read that one of the points both for and against
                Rio was the perception that they successfully hosted the Pan American
                Games in spite of problems with corruption.

                --
                Michael D. Adams -- Windsor, Connecticut -- mda@...
              • Ganni
                Goyta , Just to correct one point.  The mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, did indeed attend the proceedings in Copenhagen; in fact, he led the Chicago
                Message 7 of 12 , Oct 5, 2009
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                  Goyta',

                  Just to correct one point.  The mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, did indeed attend the proceedings in Copenhagen; in fact, he led the Chicago delegation.

                  George G.

                  --- On Sat, 10/3/09, Goyta' F. Villela Jr. <goytabr@...> wrote:

                  From: Goyta' F. Villela Jr. <goytabr@...>
                  Subject: Re: [borderpoint] Congratulations to Rio :-)
                  To: borderpoint@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009, 10:41 AM

                   

                  > Congratulations to Goyta's home country of Brazil for Rio winning
                  > the 2014 football world cup, and now the 2016 Olympic Games. That
                  > is going to show the world how Brazilians love to party :-)

                  And cariocas (as Rio's locals are called) love and can throw a party like almost anyone else (they still pale in comparison with the folks from Bahia in the Northeast, the ultimate party makers in Brazil).

                  Getting the 2014 World Cup for Brazil was easy, because there were simply no other candidate countries, but frankly, I didn't expect Rio to win the choice as the host city for the 2016 Olympics. I didn't expect Rio's bid to be taken seriously, especially as it came from a developing country (all other proposals were from developed countries) with a meagre overall Olympic record, and a city with terrible social and infrastructure problems.

                  I knew Madrid had little chance, because Spain hosted another recent Olympiad (Barcelona was 17 years ago, but that is "recent" for a world-class event that only happens every four years), and since the next one will be in London, they probably wouldn't want to have two successive Olympics in Europe. And Tokyo gave the impression of not really wanting the Games (public opinion was largely against it, and the government was divided and unwilling to commit itself). So, my best bet was Chicago (a city I love).

                  However, having the first Olympics in South America certainly weighed a lot in the decision, and since I don't care the least bit about sports, I didn't know the details of the Brazilian bid, which, as I learned yesterday, turned out to be better than one would expect. First, Rio successfully hosted the 2007 Pan-American Games, which are like a smaller version of the Olympics. There were some inevitable accusations of corruption and embezzlement, but the Games were held anyway and were almost flawless.

                  Second, many of the preparations and works necessary for the Olympics will have already been made for the World Cup anyway. Americans and Canadians here probably aren't aware of how big an event a football (soccer) World Cup is - it doesn't fall very short of the Olympics in terms of the size of the attending public, global audience on TV (in this respect, it's probably even larger than the Olympics), amount of money involved in all respects, and logistic requirements. Many such requirements are the same for both kinds of tournaments, and will already be in place because the World Cup will have happened two years earlier.

                  Third, Rio can host the entirety of the Games within the city limits (only football/soccer will be shared with other Brazilian cities, including São Paulo and my original hometown, Belo Horizonte).

                  Fourth, weather couldn't be better: the "Summer" Olympics will happen in the Southern Hemisphere's winter, when Rio has very pleasant temperatures (18-26°C, or 64-80°F) and it's also the dry season. (In summer - that is, November-March - Rio is a hell of up to 40°C/104°F, very high humidity and frequent torrential rains.)

                  Fifth, Brazil had the best political profile of all the candidate countries. The U.S. is sensitive to many countries, such as Iran or Cuba, and a natural magnet for terrorist attacks, as Atlanta and later Sept. 11 showed tragically well. The "paranoia" at borders and airports that has been discussed here and the increasingly stringent visa requirements didn't help either. Spain is a NATO member, and the Madrid train bombings showed that it is a terrorist target as well. Japan is also a close U.S. ally with a strong American military presence. By contrast, Brazil has a more independent posture, is not a member of any military alliance, has no foreign enemies and peaceful relations with all countries (except perhaps Honduras for now...) and no direct involvement in any major international conflict or issue. It has also been a stable democracy for 24 years now, even managing to oust a corrupt president in strictly constitutional terms and without this causing any institutional crisis - something that a few decades ago would have been unbelievable for a Latin American country.

                  It has also been pointed that the other candidate countries were severely affected by the global recession, and Chicago was especially hard hit, while Brazil suffered only minimal effects, the economy keeps growing and employment is on the rise. However, seven years are a long time, and the economic situation of all countries may change a lot until 2016, so I don't think this would be a serious argument.

                  Last but not least, all three levels of government - federal, state and city of Rio de Janeiro - strongly committed themselves to supporting the Games. The National Congress in Brasília even passed a special law ensuring the greatest degree of government commitment. President Lula, Rio state governor César Maia and the city mayor Sérgio Cabral all went personally to Copenhagen to give their support, alongside Pelé, one of the all-time greatest legends of sport, and they stayed all week in Denmark. The U.S. sent Michelle Obama, the President himself appeared for only a few hours, and there was also Oprah Winfrey, who is a mega-celebrity within the U.S., but not in the rest of the world, and totally unrelated to sports. The governor of Illinois and the mayor of Chicago didn't bother to appear. That felt arrogant - the U.S., Illinois and Chicago city government didn't show the same level of support as Brazil or Spain, and Oprah was seen as cultural colonialism.

                  So, "alea jacta est" - Rio will host the Games. Will that be good for the city? Probably, but I think not in the usual sense. Experience shows that in an Olympiad, jobs are temporary, long-lasting benefits are modest, the common citizen enjoys few benefits, and there is always the discussion of whether all that money couldn't be better invested in something else. However, Rio is now a city with serious self-esteem problems. It had been the capital of Brazil for centuries when the government suddenly moved to newly-built Brasília in 1960. Rio had grown used to living off easy government money, both in licit ways (jobs, services, etc.) and illicit ones (corruption) . It never bothered to build a solid independent economic base. Meanwhile, São Paulo was doing just that, and is now the powerhouse of Brazilian economy. (And Brasília is seriously trying not to repeat Rio's mistake - it is actively and successfully encouraging a very strong private sector.)

                  So, when the federal government moved away, it was a sore blow from which Rio never recovered. The city grew increasingly decadent and impoverished. It is now almost irrelevant for the Brazilian economy (though still very influential in culture). The void left by the federal government was filled by organised crime - first illegal gambling, later drugs. And cariocas, who once were the very embodiment of "savoir-vivre" , became bitter, ill-tempered and got a horrible "law of the jungle" mentality, in which personal interests and even survival were always above the common good. (The Portuguese word "malandro" means someone who doesn't like to work and lives off schemes at the expense of others. It's a serious insult anywhere in Brazil - except in Rio, where it is considered praise and is a common treatment form! People who outsmart others and extract the most from them are highly admired there. I hate that mentality!)

                  Therefore, I think it will be very good for them to have a common goal to work together for. Some bells may start to ring, and their self-esteem will have a great boost. In the long term, this may have enormous consequences for the city's recovery. Rio is a city that I hate to visit, for many reasons - but especially because I knew it when I was a child, in the 1960s, and know what a special, magical place it once was. I'd love to have back that fantastic city I knew before it was spoiled.

                  > Althoug I'm not only a spaniard but a proud "Madrileño", my second
                  > favourite city to host the Olympic Games was Rio. Those years (2014
                  > to 2016) will be a memorable age for Brazil. Enjoy it!!

                  Thanks, Diego! Let's see if it really turns out to be memorable...

                  > Yes, congratulations to Brazil and to Rio! Many (and perhaps most)
                  > Americans are glad that Chicago did not get it.

                  Why is that, Lowell?

                  > PS. The way Brazilians like to party, we may have to wait a bit
                  > before Goyta could read his email :- )

                  Actually, Razvan, I was just busy. The rivalry between São Paulo and Rio is so great that a celebration here would be extremely unlikely, especially in a city with a very strong work ethic and work-oriented culture. The Olympics will be hardly noticed here (read: they will be snubbed). Now, the Football World Cup is another story. That is the only thing that can make São Paulo stop (especially as it is going to be one of the host cities in 2014).

                  Regards and thanks to all,

                  Goytá


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