Olympics: Obama vs. Lula? Chicago vs. Rio? Which would you choose?
President Obama will go to Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday to counter Brazil's attempt to win bid to host 2016 Olympics. Lula says Latin America deserves a shot.
São Paulo, Brazil
Bringing justice and more power to the little guy has been a theme stressed by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva almost every day of his long political career. Now, Brazil's president is hoping the International Olympic Committee (IOC) might see things his way.
Lula will be in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Friday to support Rio de Janeiro's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The self-appointed "Marvelous City" faces tough competition from Madrid, Tokyo, and especially Chicago. Today, US officials announced that President Obama would also go to Copenhagen to back Chicago's bid.
The presidents of the US, Brazil, and Spain are expected to participate in the final presentation Friday to more than 100 members of the Olympic committee.
But while Lula and his Brazilian colleagues have hammered home the usual reasons to choose Rio – its stunning geography between mountains and ocean, its welcoming people, and its amenable climate – fairness is their main trump card.
"It's not fair that Brazil not be chosen," Lula said recently in one of many such appeals to delegates. "For the others it is just one more Olympics, for us it is a chance to show our self-esteem, to show our competence, and to show that we can do it better than them."