Rio de Janeiro’s bid committee for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games hoisted its flag for the first time Monday, during a ceremony at Palacio da Cidade, Rio de Janeiro’s city government headquarters. The flag raising ceremony was part of the festivities to celebrate Olympic Day and was attended by Mayor Cesar Maia, Joao Havelange, senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and president of honour of FIFA, and Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of Brazils’ Olympic Committee (COB) and Rio 2016.
The official bid flag could only be raised after the IOC confirmed Rio de Janeiro as a Candidate City.
At the flag ceremony Rio’s Mayor signed the $500,000 (U.S.) transfer fee confirming Rio de Janeiro as a Candidate City. He said, “integration of the three governmental levels was the highest rating we got in this project, which shows that political differences do not get close to sports. The guarantee of continuity will be given and this is essential. On this Olympic Day we must reflect about what sports can do for us”.
Rio 2016 head Nuzman said, “on this Olympic Day the most important message is that we fulfilled our duty and, for the first time in history a Brazilian city will have the honour of using the Olympic rings. I thank all those who are involved in this daily work to have our candidacy approved by (the) IOC”.
Havelange said that Rio de Janeiro is currently living a time of happiness. “We will work very hard until October 2, 2009, when the host city of the 2016 Games will be announced. I hope it will be an unforgettable day for Brazilian sports, with the choice of Rio de Janeiro”.
Meanwhile, at Rio de Janeiro’s State government headquarters, Palacio Guanabara, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed an executive order creating the Governmental Actions Management Committee and sent the National Congress a bill creating an R$85 million credit to support Rio’s bid.
Lula said, “we will not start this bid from the scratch. The experience from the Rio 2007 Pan American Games will be widely used. We mush show our qualities, as we did in the Pan American Games. We have already accomplished what was required – the enrolment of Rio de Janeiro as a candidate city”.
He added, “it is time for national, State and City commitment around a solid work. I am confident Rio can win the right to stage the 2016 Olympic Games”.