POSTED: October 2nd 2009

Nuzman explains how Rio came first off the learning curve

(L to R) IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge, Barbara Leoncio, and Carlos Nuzman / Image: IOC/ R. Juilliart
(L to R) IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge, Barbara Leoncio, and Carlos Nuzman / Image: IOC/ R. Juilliart

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

COPENHAGEN: Carlos Nuzman, in celebrating Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic bid success, told a story to inspire any sportsman, after a defeat, to try, try and try again.

As president of the Brazilian Olympic committee, Nuzman has been the main face of the Rio bid whose success had sparked samba celebrations by crowds estimated at 50,000 or more on Copacabana beach.

Victory was a team effort, founded on the joint efforts of state, local government and Brazilian sport. But, as IOC president Jacques Rogge noted after signing the host city contract: “Rio learned a lot from the last time, when they did not make the cut; they wanted to correct their shortcomings and winning today is thus a very nice story.”

Nuzman, who first entered the Olympic arena as a volleyball player, took up the theme, saying: “When Rio was excluded from the final shortlist in Lausanne last time for 2012, the first thing I did next morning was go back to the IOC and to president Rogge. I said: ‘We were not prepared. But we will be back.”

He and his team - Carlos Osorio, Eduardo Paes, Orlando Silva and Co - used Rio’s hosting of the 2007 Panamerican Games as the cornerstone of their rebuilding work. But that was only a start.

Sense of responsibility

Nuzman added: “None of us had one day’s holiday after the Panamerican Games and now we have our reward and this is why we have such an enormous sense of emotion about what this means to Brazil and to Rio and to our continent.”

State President Lula also expounded on the emotion of the moment, saying: “I have participated in so many things and met so many celebrities and personalities that I thought I would not get emotional and suddenly I was crying more than anyone else there.

“I’m very happy but I also have a concern because the IOC has decided to increase substantially our responsibility as Brazilians.

“However I can say I am not afraid of responsibility: human beings need to wake up every morning and face a challenge so that they can be inspired to achieve things – and Brazil needs these Olympic Games. There is no happier and more creative people than Brazilians. They deserve this opportunity.”

Deserve it, perhaps, for taking their cue from Nuzman and not accepting defeat.

Keywords · 2016 Olympic Games · Rio de Janeiro · Nuzman · Lula · Rogge

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