Rio De Janeiro Mayor Sees Potential With 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympics On Horizon
Among the nightmares haunting Rio de Janeiro Mayor EDUARDO PAES before next year's World Cup is "the possibility that his city could go down in history as the scene of a neighbour's greatest triumph," according to Jonathan Watts of the London GUARDIAN. Paes said, "If Argentina beat Brazil, in the final, I'll kill myself. They have [LIONEL MESSI] and the pope. They can't have everything." It is "not the only potential horror facing the head of the city that will soon host a cascade of mega-events:" a papal visit this year, the 2014 World Cup next year, and the 2016 Olympics. Paes has described the challenge of meeting expectations as a "good nightmare," a chance to "upgrade a city that seemed to be in terminal decline a decade or two ago." Paes: "This is a turning point, an opportunity to reinvent the city. I don't care about the racetrack for USAIN BOLT in the 100m. What I care about is what will last for the city." Contrary to the "widely expressed view" that the mega-events will primarily benefit the upmarket resort area in the city's south, the mayor said that development projects "were geared towards reducing inequality." Paes: "There is nothing happening in the rich areas. It's all in the poor areas" (GUARDIAN, 6/10).