If their economic benefits are so underwhelming, why do countries jump at the chance to organize the Olympics?
‘I’ve never won a gift. The first gift I ever had, I had to buy. It was an old bicycle with a chain that broke every day, and I had to fix it. And today, people we don’t even know have given me the greatest gift a president could wish for: to host the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.’ It was with tears in his eyes that Brazilian president Lula da Silva accepted the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to send the Olympic Games to South America for the first time.
The city, he added, deserved the honour of hosting because it had ‘suffered’ in the past. ‘This victory is a restitution for a people who often appear only in a negative light in the press,’ he said. ‘Those who think Brazil can’t afford to host the Games will be surprised.’