Tag Archives: rio de janeiro

Is Rio Excited About the Olympics in 2016?

Here’s the thing. A few days back was the one-year-to-go point for the Rio Olympics. The Olympic committee seemed pretty confident that most things are on track for the games. Some of the venues are ready now. Some are almost ready. From what I read there only seemed to be one venue that was really struggling to meet deadlines.

But we still have a year to go. Who can forget the images from Greece before the Athens 2004 games where it seemed that venues were still being constructed days before the events were to start?

But what I find really funny is how the media – in Brazil and globally – are all saying that nobody is looking forward to the games in Brazil. Ticket sales are low. People are worried about the economic situation. The Guardian even went so far as to suggest that people in Brazil are still upset about Germany thrashing Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup last year.

What is worth remembering is that this happens before every Olympic games. Take a look back at London. Perhaps I’m biased because I am British, but it was one of the most memorable Olympic events ever in my opinion. From the amazing opening ceremony to the way the volunteers changed the way the entire city operated. It was a time to remember in the UK. Ask most people in London about the Olympics in 2012 and they will have fond memories of a month when people were friendlier than usual – there was an improvement in the way the entire city functioned and people enjoyed it.

But a week before the 2012 games it was all different. I wrote about it at the time in the Huffington Post. The press were wailing that there was no security in London, that missile launchers were being erected on buildings, that bus drivers wanted to strike, that the tube would not run, that the Olympic bus drivers had no idea how to find the stadium, and that the budget was out of control… the 2012 Olympics was generally hated by the media.

That article was published one week before the 2012 games began and my point was generally to say, “look let’s get behind this now because the whole world is watching London.”

What response did I get? Almost 100 comments on the article and every single one saying what a complete tosser I am for suggesting this. Every comment complained about the Olympics in London.

Spin forward a week to the opening ceremony and every Brit was laughing at the Queen with James Bond, Mr Bean, singing Kinks and Beatles songs. Suddenly everyone loved the fact that the entire world was watching Britain and enjoying it. Suddenly people felt proud of being British.

But this hasn’t happened in Rio yet. In fact I expect it will not happen until the opening ceremony because until the event is really underway, it’s not “real”, it’s just a future event that could always be a disaster. At least that’s what the press tells us.

So I for one am not listening to a word about how the Brazilian psyche has been so disturbed by Germany’s goals in 2014 that it is now impossible for them to enjoy the Olympics. Or that any questions of economics will make people enjoy sport less.

The sports pages are full of so much garbage. The bottom line is that Brazilians are going to welcome the Olympics to Rio next year and I hope I’m there to enjoy it with them.
Mirante Dona Marta - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

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England v Brazil at the Maracanã in Rio

England (and Brazil) fans arriving for the match in Rio on Sunday need to be aware that there is just one venue in Rio for ticket collections on the day of the match – Fluminense football club. [map here]

If you are in Rio earlier then the ticket agent has a number of venues where you can collect tickets. All the details are here on www.futebolcard.com

If you need to get tickets on the day of the game then there are some conditions:

  1. You need to have ID that proves you do not live in Rio.
  2. You need the card you used to buy the tickets.
  3. You need to be at Fluminense FC between 10.00 to 14.00.

There is no ticket sale or collection at the Maracanã stadium on the day of the game – this is the venue for the game. And be aware that Fluminense is not close to the Maracanã so you need to get organised if collecting on the day of the game.

I’m going to the game along with some other Brits. We will probably meet in the Botafogo area of Rio at lunchtime.  Tweet me or send a message via Facebook if you want to join us!

Original email message from Futebol card:

A retirada exclusiva dos ingressos para os torcedores que não residem no estado do Rio de Janeiro, poderá ser realizada no dia da partida SOMENTE na sede do Fluminense (Rua Álvaro Chaves, nº 41 – Laranjeiras), das 10 às 14h.

ATENÇÃO: NÃO HAVERÁ RETIRADA NO ESTÁDIO DO MARACANÃ NO DIA DA PARTIDA.

Football's Coming Gnome (earlier than some expected)

Photo by Duncan Hull licensed under Creative Commons

New Moo cards featuring Brazil

If you have met me and had a business card from me in the past few years then you probably have one of my Moo Cards. I take a lot of photos when I am out and about and those photos end up on my business cards… so everyone always gets a unique card when they meet me.

I just got some new ones printed for my new role at IT Decisions. They all feature photos I have taken of Brazil.

Take a look at a small selection of some of the cards here and see what you can recognise…

New Moo Cards

Brazil Floods

Earlier this week, São Paulo was in complete chaos. Over a dozen people died because of the rain and subsequent flooding of the city. Now Rio de Janeiro has suffered more rain in one day than normally falls in the whole of January and the city has seen over 300 people killed, mainly in mudslides.

It’s an absolute tragedy, but how can so many hundreds of people die all in a day just because of the rain?

Well, most of the people who died in mudslides were not living in the expensive apartments lining Copacabana beach, they were in the mountain towns outside the city. But mountain towns would expect mudslides when heavy rains come, and this area of Brazil usually gets heavy rains around the new year.

So even though these rains are heavier than usual, how can so many people have died in a single day? One of the answers may lie in greater control over planning permission, controlling who can construct homes and where to a greater degree. If planning is left to be just a bit of a free-for-all, once you get away from the major city centres, and building without controls takes place in remote areas with a strong risk of flooding, then these tragedies will be the end result.

But if the government starts cracking down on planning and control over land and building works, then what would happen to the favelas that surround Rio or remote mountain towns where regulations are only lightly applied? Those people didn’t ask permission to erect a shack on the side of a mountain, and they almost certainly don’t pay tax to the federal government, yet the authorities get called in to save them when rain causes their homes to collapse.

It’s a Catch-22 situation. Some people are too poor to engage in the controlled and authorised market for property, yet building without controls leads to this kind of disaster.

The answer lies in greater control of building in flood-prone areas, but that also requires some support and compassion from the government. Social housing programmes that offer cheap, but safe living conditions are needed, but how?
Rain in São Paulo

Brazil and technology

I’m blogging next week from the Gartner Sourcing Summit in São Paulo, Brazil. And following that, I’ll be in Rio de Janeiro for a government led event focused on the tech industry in Brazil.

Take a look at the speakers at the Gartner summit by following the link above. If you want me to ask any questions about the tech industry in Brazil to any of these good people, or the government people, then just send me a message…

Hedkandi Brazil