Sunday, May 3, 2009

IOC Leaves Rio "Impressed" and With Silly Photo-Ops

Chicago gave the IOC the chance to dine with Oprah; Tokyo utilized virtual reality glasses to show off its bid; and Rio brought out the most famous Brazilian in the world, soccer legend Pele. These stunts and celebrity soirees seem to be commonplace for IOC Olympic Evaluations and with them come priceless photo-ops. So thank you Brazil for this great shot of IOC evaluation committee chairman, Nawal El Moutawakel, awkwardly trapping a soccer ball between her head with Pele:

IOC Committee "Impressed" with Rio's 2016 Olympic Bid
The IOC leaves Rio with a great photo (see above) and various other politically correct statements. The main story out of the visit was that there wasn't much of a story. In the press conference following the evaluation, the same adjective was used to describe Rio's bid as was used for Chicago, Tokyo and we imagine for Madrid next week: Impressed.

As we said before, we're not going to get a good read until the evaluation committee releases its findings in an extensive report in September. For now, we have to rely on stale and predictable press conferences. At least we got some funny photos out of this one.

According to the media, the main concerns we read about were hotel accommodations, safety issues, and mistreatment of homeless (aka street dwellers):

Earlier on Saturday the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported that street dwellers had been rounded up in three key areas of the city before the inspection team visited.

The newspaper said their reporters witnessed the homeless being placed into buses and taken away.

The city government was quoted by the newspaper as saying it was a routine operation.

(image from REUTERS/Bruno Domingos)

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