Brazil’s Sports Minister Says Why Rio Should Get 2016 Nod

Brazil’s sports minister Orlando Silva leaves Monday to attend the SportAccord conference in Athens Greece where the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will release a short list Wednesday of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games bid finalists.

Silva says the country’s economic boom and the success of the 2007 Pan American Games are reasons why Rio de Janeiro should be selected to host the 2016 Summer Games.

He told The Associated Press, “the PanAm games were a great success and gave Rio credibility. The installations were Olympic standard. Transportation, health, security, food, everything worked very well and was highly praised”.

Silva said Brazil’s “roaring” economic was also a plus. According to The Associated Press the country paid off its foreign debt last year and was declared a safe place for foreign investors to put their money, with a debt upgrade this year from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

Silva added, “this would be the first Olympics in South America. It’s a way for the IOC to approach the 21st century”.

He said history was on Brazil’s side, pointing out that the United States held the World Cup and the Olympic two years apart in 1994 and 1996, Germany in 1974 and 1976, and Mexico in 1968 and 1970.

“The Olympics are a dream for us. The Olympics would place sports strongly in the national agenda – and not just soccer”.