Brazil is ready for Olympics

Today, exactly 30 days before the world`s greatest sporting event is scheduled to begin, Brazil say it is ready to host the first Olympic and Paralympic Games to take place in South America.

The Rio 2016 sign stands in front of the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.The Rio 2016 sign stands in front of the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Source: AP/SITA)

The Olympic Village, housing more than 17,000 participating athletes in one of Rio de Janeiro`s most beautiful settings, has just been inaugurated. All sports facilities, especially those serving the Olympic Park in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, are also up and ready.The country has put together a solid security program of 85,000 federal, state, and municipal government personnel to ensure that sporting events take place in an atmosphere of absolute peace and tranquility. This contingent of security personnel will work in an integrated fashion, overseeing the protection of athletes, coaching staffs, heads of state, government officials, local residents, and journalists.

This will not be Brazil`s first opportunity to show the world its capacity for organization, and to welcome visitors warmly to a secure environment. Over the past few years, our country has developed an expertise in hosting mega-events on an international scale. We hosted the World Cup, the Pan-American Games, the World Military Games, World Youth Day, and the Confederations Cup, all unanimous successes, which we conducted in a spirit of excellence, dedication and with the characteristic Brazilian joie de vivre.

Rio de Janeiro is expected to receive approximately 500,000 visitors from Brazil and abroad during the Games, while the five "Soccer Cities" (São Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Brasília and Belo Horizonte) will also find themselves inundated with local and foreign fans. 

It should be emphasized that 60 percent (7.07 billion reais) of the total investment in the Olympic facilities were financed by the private sector. These resources and efforts will remain as legacies to the entire country. For instance, the Games will disseminate throughout Brazil the hallmark values of competitive sports: cooperation, solidarity, discipline, and resiliency. 

Over the past few weeks, rumor of the possibility of an outbreak of topical-disease during the Games has circulated. We can assure you, as has the World Health Organization, that the risk of Zika infection during the Games is practically non-existent. Historically, an extremely low incidence of disease transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti has been recorded during the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere. Indeed, there has been a dramatic decline in cases of Zika infection in Rio de Janeiro and throughout Brazil in the past few weeks. I recall a similar prediction of epidemic during the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil, when we hosted 1.4 million foreign visitors. No epidemic occurred. Then as now, tourists can be assured of favorable health conditions during the Olympic Games.

Brazil is ready to receive all of the visitors who will be enjoying the pleasure of watching the world`s elite international sports athletes compete, and, surely, we will have a great deal to show the 5 billion viewers from around the world who will be watching the Games as well.

Michel Temer, Interim President of the Republic of Brazil

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