Brazilians celebrate initial 2016 Olympics nod for Rio de Janeiro
Brazilian government and sports authorities
celebrated Wednesday the International Olympic Committee decision which made Rio de Janeiro one of four final contenders to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also picked Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo, and eliminated the Qatari capital Doha, Prague, and Baku in Azerbaijan. The final choice will be made next year.
On the other two occasions in which it sought to host the Games (for the 2004 and 2012 Olympics), Rio did not even make the final cut.
This time, however, it made the most of the organization of the 2007 Pan American Games, which Pan American Sports Organization president Mario Vazquez Rana described as "the best in history."
"Today we have to be happy about life. The fact that a city in a country that never hosted Olympic Games makes it to the final stage is a great feat. We have to stay balanced, because this is only one stage," said Brazilian Olympic Committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman.
In an interview in Athens with the Brazilian television network Globo, Nuzman said the challenge now is to put forward a good bid for the Games.
"It is an obligation to put forward a good candidacy. We have to hand over the documents with (financial) guarantees explained in detail. Public bodies and society in general must come up with the guarantees so that everything works out well," he noted.
Despite the strength of rival candidates, Nuzman said he is optimistic about Rio de Janeiro's chances.
"In 2001 we designed a project with the objective of hosting the Pan American Games in 2007, which we managed, and the 2016 Olympic Games. We are en route and we are optimistic that we will manage to achieve that goal," he said.
A group of sportspeople and leaders of the Brazilian sports scene followed the IOC announcement from a Rio restaurant and celebrated the fact that Rio made the cut.
"The other countries still in the race already hosted Olympic Games. That is why I think that this time the competition has to come to Rio, I am very confident," said judoka Flavio Canto, dpa reported.