Brazilian sports legend Pele is in Beijing promoting Rio de Janeiro’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to choose a South American city for the first time.
He said it was important for the Olympic movement to go to new territories. “I’m not representing Rio de Janeiro but Brazil. I’m not representing Brazil but the whole of South America”, he said.
“The Olympics have never been played in South America and will inspire millions of young people”, said Pele.
His words were echoed by Carlos Osorio, general secretary of Rio 2016, who told a news conference in Beijing that the Summer Games have never been held in South America. “It’s time for the Olympic Games to reach out to South America for the first time. We are not asking for gifts. We are ready”.
Bid President Carlos Nuzman said public safety would be guaranteed for the Games. He said, “we hosted the Pan American Games where the US delegation numbered 1,200, we have two million on the streets on New Year’s Eve and three million for carnival week, all under absolute control”, he said.
Nuzman said there would be a new approach to security for the first time with federal and city security and police forces merging.
Osorio told the news conference, “Rio was prepared by God to host the Olympic Games. We have the ocean, the mountains, the lagoon, so we can host all sports inside the city. What we are talking about is to host the mother of all parties in Rio in 2016. That’s our plan”.