Tovar da Silva Nunes, Embajador de Brasil en India
The great party of sport, peace and union among peoples begins in 100 days. As the 2016 Rio Olympics nears, the Wonderful City and its inhabitants get ready to open their arms and welcome and estimated 5 lakh foreign visitors to the first Games to occur in South America. Under the arms of the statue of Christ the Redeemer, the matches will spread all over the city between 5 and 21 August and 7 and 18 September, for the Paralympics.
With a mostly private budget, the works for the Olympics have brought changes that go beyond the event itself, and present substantial infrastructural betterment for the local population. The plan for the Games was distributed into four different areas of the city, to the West, North and South - the most populated zones. That strategy promoted the expansion of the mobility infrastructure, with the building of new metro, light rail and BRT lines. By spreading the event and enabling public transportation to link its parts, the benefit of tourism will be more equally distributed, and the visitor who is more specifically interested in the matches will be also able to get a good sense of being in the city.
As for the environment, there was major improvement in the treatment of the waters of the Guanabara Bay, with rapid increase of sewage treatment and collection of floating rubbish. The systems will be incorporated and increased after the Games. All in all, over two million cariocas will benefit from the effects of the works for the 2016 Olympics. The handling of infrastructure for the event shows that Rio de Janeiro is more than the Olympics. That should also be the spirit for the tourists. The venues are located in areas close to major tourist attractions as well as new cultural developments, like the Museum of Tomorrow and the Rio Art Museum. The worldwide famous sightseeing - the Corcovado, Pão de Açúcar, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches - is also there, as is the thriving musical and bar scene of Lapa where all sounds of Brazil can be heard. Rio has almost doubled the number of guestrooms in its hotel network, to assure proper rest after the day and night fun in town.
The countdown to memorable good times begins. Brazil welcomes the 77 Indian athletes who qualified for the event and wishes them luck and no shortage of opportunity to show the world India has got talent for sports. May you all, athletes and tourists, as the 2016 Rio Olympics` motto says, live your passion!