Now that the euphoria of winning the 2016 Olympics has died down, Rio de Janeiro must put its mind to a monumental challenge.
In fact, the Brazilian city is faced with two massive challenges because it’s also staging the football World Cup in 2014. Work has yet to start on 12 World Cup arenas and Rio now has to build another range of venues as well as updating the transport infrastructure and building an athletes’ village.
Rio’s Tourism Secretary, Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, dismissed any doubts. “We did our homework and showed we had the capacity to stage the games here. Rio de Janeiro is prepared, it has shown this in the past and it is going to demonstrate it again with clarity for the world in 2016.”
Brazil will be relying on a strong economy - one of the first to emerge from the economic crisis - to provide much of the budget for the Olympics.
Commentators say the decision seems to mark a defining moment for South America’s largest country, which despite its struggles with inequality, poverty and violence, is carving out a new leadership role for itself in the developing world.
by Andy Moreton