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."