2016 Olympics

September 3, 2009

There are signs for the 2016 Olympics everywhere in Rio, as they compete with Chicago to host the summer games.  “Live your passion,” they say in optimistic type.   Everything about Brazil seems optimistic these days, and the poster, the idea of having the Olympics in this city, seems like a great encapsulation of a forward glance.

Scott and I talk a lot about how it’s possible that Brazil is about to have its moment, hit center stage.  These very internationally exposing events have the potential to carry it the last bit that it needs to go to make Rio a world class city again (Sao Paulo is there–a world class city) .  In Rio, instead of a gaping crater where there’s supposed to be a subway stop in four months at Praca General Osorio, there will be a real metro line that goes to Leblon.  The traffic will ease a little, restaurants will serve really top notch food instead of almost there food, Azul (Brazil’s Jetblue, started by the same founder, David Needleman, who happens to have been born in Brazil) will hit its stride. It’s sort of an amazing time to be here.  It feels like we’re cheating the recession, escaping it in a sunny somewhere that’s sort of unbelievable.

Or maybe none of this will happen and it will be a missed opportunity.  Perhaps gymnasts and runners and athletes of every kind will descend on Chicago instead, and the subway system here will still be under construction in twenty years.  It’s hard to know.

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