Presidential Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha said this Tuesday (23 August) that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games have capitalised Brazil and proved that Brazilians are able to organise and deliver great Games, while offering their best to those that honour our country with their presence. "We have overcome issues related to security (which was approved by 90% of our visitors), as well as threats posed by the Zika virus, with not a single case reported during the Games," pointed out the minister. For 98% of visitors, no one beats Brazilians for their hospitality, added Padilha. "All visitors, and foreigners in particular, realised that our best asset is our people."
During an interview at the Rio Media Center (RMC) together with Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, Padilha stated that the Paralympic Games will be as successful as the Olympics. According to Paes, tickets are selling fast, which is proof that cariocas and Brazilians will fill up the city again.
The federal government has confirmed an additional R$ 150 million for the Paralympic Games through sponsorship funds provided by state-run companies such as Petrobras, Caixa, Embratur, BNDES and Apex.
During the Olympic Games, Rio welcomed 1.17 million tourists. Out of this total, 410,000 came from overseas, and spent on average R$ 424 per day. US visitors accounted for 17% of the total, followed by Argentines (12%) and Germans (7%). Hotel occupancy rates reached 94% during the event. "Post-Games Rio is a different Rio, and I’m sure that it will be the main gateway into Brazil," said Padilha.
Mayor Eduardo Paes highlighted the Olympic legacy in Rio, mentioning some initiatives that have already transformed the day-to-day of many cariocas, such as the Marcelo Alencar tunnel, the new Supervia trains, and the Transoeste and Transolímpica expressways, which include a BRT system to improve public transport across the city. "I have always said that the Games would be remembered for their legacy, for saving public funds, meeting cost estimates and deadlines, and for no white elephants. And this is what we have delivered", celebrated Mayor Paes. The Rio Metro, which transported 14 million passengers during the Games, will only deliver Line 4 to the public after the Paralympic Games. This new metro line connects the South Zone to Barra da Tijuca.
When asked about what will become of the Olympic facilities after the Paralympic Games, Mayor Paes announced that Rio will donate one of the Aquatic Park pools to another capital in order to enhance Brazil’s sport infrastructure. Padilha praised the concept of nomadic architecture adopted for the Rio Olympic facilities, and stated that, from a legal perspective, it is perfectly viable to transfer sport facilities to other states in Brazil. "Not only does this model justify investments, but it also optimises them. This will be true for other countries too," said the minister, illustrating how the Rio 2016 legacy would be significant for future editions of the greatest sporting event on Earth.
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