POSTED: October 2nd 2009

Lula and Havelange promise an Olympic Games party in Rio

Brazil's President Lula addresses the IOC / Image: IOC/ R. Juilliart
Brazil's President Lula addresses the IOC / Image: IOC/ R. Juilliart

KEIR RADNEDGE in COPENHAGEN / Sports Features Communications

OCT 02: Brazil's President Lula and Olympic veteran Joao Havelange wrapped up Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic bid by inviting IOC members to a double celebration in South America in seven years' time.

Havelange, the former FIFA president – he led the world football federation from 1974 to 1998 – opened up by telling Congress he wanted to see the Games staged in South America for the first time. He also told IOC members he wanted them all to join him in celebrating what would azlso be his 100th birthday.

“I have seen the unique power of our movement to change cities, countries and the lives of millions of people and to make history,” said Havelange, a competitor at the Games of 1936 and 1948. “I have a dream of seeing history made in 2016 in my city – and I ask you to join and this great [Rio] team to help make this dream come true.”

Bid leader Carlos Nuzman, Governor Sergio Cabral and Mayor Eduardo Paes.

Cabral met the issue of security head-on, saying: “I can tell you change is happening - and happening as a result of sport. In 2007, as part of the Panamerican Games, our security services acquired a new model of command and we saw no incidents, large or small.”

Henrique Meirelles, governor of the Brazilian central bank, brought assurances of the strength of the economy.

World Cup link

Then Mayor Paes attacked another controversial theme, assuring the IOC that the Brazilian hosting of the World Cup in 2014 would serve as a platform for the subsequent Olympic Games, not a distraction.

President Lula concluded the presentation on behalf of a “melting pot [of people] which is the core of our identity.”

He added: “For others this would be just one Games but for us it would an unparalleled opportunity.” Emphasising his own personal commitment, he urged the IOC members to seize the moment and finally light the Olympic cauldron in a tropical country.

He said: “We want to open our doors for everyone to enjoy humankind’s biggest celebration in one of the biggest and most welcoming countries in the world.

“Rio is ready. Give us this chance and you will not regret it. Be sure, the Games we will deliver will be unforgettable – full of the passion, energy and creativity of the Brazilian people.”

Keywords · 2016 Olympic Games · IOC · Havelange · Nuzman · Cabral · Rio de Janeiro · Lula · FIFA

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