South American Olympics Overdue or Undercooked?

As the International Olympic Committee prepares to announced the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics this week, South Americans are hoping it's finally their time. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of four finalists, but some say the city isn't ready.

No South American city has ever hosted the games, and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva argues that a Brazilian Olympics is long overdue.

"Lula has a point, but as the former union leader knows, life isn't always fair. If it were, then Rio, while a front runner, would be in a stronger position to win next Friday's decision and edge out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. It can claim experience: Rio hosted the Pan American Games in 2007, an event that should have transformed the still sometimes provincial resort into a more modern, more international and safer city. (See pictures of São Paulo.)

The problem is, it didn't quite do that. Winning the 2007 Pan American Games was considered a big, if sometimes chaotic, success for Rio. To triumph over rival bidder San Antonio, officials used the same argument - that this was Rio's turn. To back that up, they promised to transform the city with a new ring road system, something called a "via light" railway (presumably a light railway), a new state highway and 54 km of new metro lines.

But none of the roads, nary a kilometer of metro line, were built."

Full Story: Rio's Olympics Quest: Can It Handle the 2016 Games?


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