POSTED: April 7th 2009

Brazil's richest man backs Rio 2016

2016 bid team proudly display the check / Image: lake
2016 bid team proudly display the check / Image: lake

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

RIO DE JANEIRO: Billionaire entrepreneur Eike Batista has stepped to the plate for the Rio 2016 bid with a substantial donation of 10 million reals ($4.5M) to support the campaign for the summer Olympics. Batista’s conglomerate Grupo EBX of mining, steel, energy and oil companies are reportedly worth around $20 billion and Forbes lists him as number 61 of the worlds’ billionaires. 

At a ceremony today at Guanabara Palace the check was officially presented to President of the Brazilian NOC, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, with Sergio Cabral, Rio de Janeiro state governor, Orlando Silva, Sports Minister, and the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes. 

The Rio 2016 bid team has not announced if the donation has a particular use as yet. Rio is running against Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo for the summer Games.

Eike is also sponsoring the cleaning of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas,” I was taught the idea that giving is better than receiving. If you can bring the Olympics to Rio will be an unparalleled experience. Rio, which is already marvelous, will be invincible.”

Sergio Cabral held the entrepreneur (pictured here on the right) as an example, “I hope the example of the generous donation pays homage to sports and inspires entrepreneurs to sponsor athletes. I believe strongly in the campaign for the Rio 2016. It will be a good investment for Eike," he concluded.

Cabral also held the entrepreneur as an example, and noted that the Rio’s challenges must be addressed. “We will not hide our difficulties, but acknowledge them, demonstrating that we are able to face them. People do not need a fortune like you (Eike Batista) but, just follow your example, in their own way.”
The Brazilian NOC also today officially announced the creation of an Olympic Athletes’ Commission. The 19-member commission is modeled on the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission.

Of the total of 91 Olympic medals ever won by Brazilians, 30 were won by these 19 athletes on the new commission.

“This is an historic moment and the achievement of a longstanding aspiration of the Brazilian Olympic Committee,” said the committee’s President, Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

“The Athletes’ Commission will play a fundamental role in developing sport in Brazil.”

Keywords · Rio 2016 · olympic bid · Eike Batista · Sergio Cabral · Grupo EBX

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.