Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is going up against President Obama in an effort to convince the International Olympic Committee to see things his way. Both leaders will be in Copenhagen, Denmark this Friday in an effort to convince the committee that their respective cities—Rio for Lula, and Chicago for Obama—would serve as the best host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Other cities in the running include Madrid and Tokyo.
Lula’s plan is to hype his country’s stunning beauty, warm people and its pleasant climate. But he mostly plans to reason like a grade-schooler who could potentially not get his way.
"It's not fair that Brazil not be chosen," Lula said recently in an appeal 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." He continued, "The United States with summer and winter Olympics has held eight. Barcelona has had it. Tokyo has had it. And South America, Latin America has only had one Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968.”
Valid as that may be, the IOC is concerned about Rio’s limited number of hotels. Still, they lauded the city’s final presentation, congratulating it on its "increased public safety and reductions in crime," even though the number of homicides in the city is rising.
We think Brazil has a great shot at this. Friday’s meeting will bring the true test, though. And we all know how charming and convincing Obama can be.