Now that the 2012 Olympic Games have come to a close the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, is under pressure to match the success of the London games.
The federal government led by President Dilma Rousseff is doing all it can to help. Transbrasil has been given R$1.13bn (US$0.6bn) from Brasília and another R$171m (US$84m) from the city government to build a new rail line. In Centro, a new light rail transit line is also being funded by the federal government and a public private partnership. The Rio 2016 president, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, says that these investments demonstrate the commitment across all levels of government with the 2016 games and should be seen as a positive sign of things to come. Aside from transport, empty seats are among the biggest concerns for the director-general of the Olympic Committee, Leonardo Gryner, who is proposing a different method of ticket allocation to that of London. On 13 August, the day after the London games closed, President Dilma Rousseff announced ‘Plano Medalha’ under which additional funds will be invested in high performance sports over the next four years. Another program will provide the athletes’ teams with the extra resources they say they require if Brazil is to reach its target of 30 medals in 2016. The sports minister, Aldo Rebelo, admitted that the investment is a little late in coming. Critics add that without better funding in basic categories it will be a struggle to win many medals at all. The Brazilian Olympic Committee receives 85% of its funds from the national lottery, of which 10% goes towards sports in schools and 5% towards universities. The ministry of sport’s ‘Programa Bolsa-Atleta’, which has been running for nearly 10 years, invests in Olympic and Paralympic sports with the aim of bringing up new generations of young athletes. This year the service was hastily opened up to dedicated athletes, regardless of whether or not they already have sponsors.
Ahead of the London closing ceremony, businesses and authorities from the UK and Brazil were brought together to discuss high value business opportunities arising from the Olympic handover. For instance, British engineering and architecture companies have already begun negotiations with Brazilian construction companies and British businesses say they expect to generate up to US$1.5bn in revenues ahead of the 2016 games from these kinds of joint ventures. The companies involved in building London’s stadiums and facilities have also offered their advice to the Brazilian Olympic Committee. Rio wants to maintain London’s focus on sustainability and legacy. In keeping with this ethos Rio is examining the possibility of dismantling and re-using some of the structures used in London.