Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has predicted the 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games in Rio de Janeiro would be the finest in the history of the games after unveiling the Olympic torch on Friday July 3.
The torch relay will begin at the Games’ birthplace in Olympia, Greece, before embarking on its tour of Brazil in May 2016. White with blue and green waves inset in its upper half, the torch will start its Brazil journey in the capital Brasilia before traversing 300 cities across the country. It will culminate on August 5 with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium.
President Rousseff said, “We are still one year away from it, but Brazil’s heart is already beating faster. The Brazilian generous heart leaps up when confronted with two of its passions: welcoming people from all over the world and competing with enthusiasm and fair play in a superb sport performance.”
“We have seen it happening during the FIFA World Cup. It will be like that again, beginning on August 5th 2016, when we will light with the Olympic flame our passion for sport and will host the flag bearing the five interlocking rings at our magnificent Maracanã Stadium,” she said.
President Rousseff said it is not by chance that Brazil was given the honor of being the first South American country to host the Olympic Games and the simple reason that Brazil is known for its impressive and diversified landscape as well as being a country with a history of tolerance and respect for diversity which has become an international symbol of sociability.
She said Brazil achieved such a distinction during the FIFA World Cup and “we have everything it takes to repeat it at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This is a major challenge which we are overcoming day after day, hour after hour, long before the competitions actually start.”
The preparation process for the Games began with investment in the most important asset of all she said “is in Brazilian athletes.”
She explained that throughout the last couple of years Brazil has made huge public investments to ensure adequate material support to Brazilian athletes, their coaches and teams, with such programs as the “Athlete Scholarship” and the “Brazilian Medals Plan.”
The results achieved by Brazil in the last Pan American Games are a concrete example of the drive of Brazilian athletes, she said. These investments in people and infrastructure will bring far reaching results in future years, beyond the time frame of the Olympic Games.
The Brazilian leader said sport inspires in “us a culture of cooperation, of honoring, ethic and hard work as means to reach our goals and celebrate our achievements. Combining it to the natural joy and self-esteem of our hospitable and welcoming people will produce the greatest legacy of the Rio 2016 Games.”
The Rio Games, to be held from August 5 to 21 next year, will be the first Olympics in South America.