Letter to the Editor
Britain and Brazil and the Olympic ideal.
We are excited. Why? Brazil and Britain have a special reason to mark 27 July. We are just two years away from the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It is a big deal. Not just for the UK – but also Brazil. Of course, the spotlight of the world will be on the UK at that stage – but we are very conscious that once the London Games are over that we will be passing the baton to Rio looking ahead to 2016.
The London Olympic project has been embraced by the British public with enthusiasm. We want to share the experiences of one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting countries with people across the globe and Brazil is – understandably one of our key targets. We look forward to sharing with you what modern Britain looks, feels and acts like.
Our multicultural society is a defining feature of the United Kingdom. It is a highly cosmopolitan country. In particular, athletes from more than 50 of the nations competing in 2012 will be cheered on by local communities of their fellow country men and women who live Britain. This diversity ensures an enduring tradition of exploration, discovery and creativity – one that Brazilians working and studying in the United Kingdom can attest to.
Innovation is a key word to delivering the Games, and London is working hard to get it right. The Olympic Park, for example, aims to provide a blue print for sustainable living. The area is destined to become the largest urban park in Europe. Also, the whole East London area is being revitalized as part of our Olympic project. That is a legacy that will last for decades, long after the main event is over.
In Rio de Janeiro, Mayor Eduardo Paes is looking to capitalize on the 2016 Games to revamp the Harbor Area and other regions of the city. This can only mean more business and investment coming to the city. In 2016, thousands of people flocking to Rio to attend the Olympics will experience first-hand what the residents already know: that this city is much more than its beautiful beaches and landscapes. It is a bustling metropolis with unparalleled power to deliver both business and entertainment. A perfect setting for the world’s largest sports event.
On the other side of the Atlantic, we had promised as part of our Olympic bid to make 2012 more than just a great spectacle, more than six weeks of sport and more than just about London. And we are doing so. London 2012 is having a real impact on every part of British life, from culture to health, from education to the environment and from the economy to our local communities. So, of course, there is a lot of excitement as we reach the two years to go milestone.
Brazil and the United Kingdom share a world of things in common and we will keep working hard to foster a robust and fruitful partnership between our countries. And let us not forget that England is bidding to host the World Cup in 2018. As we mark 27 July on our calendars as two years to London 2012, I’d like to celebrate this unprecedented opportunity lying before us: that we might just be heading into a decade of sports between Brazil and the United Kingdom. This is our time. This is your time. And the whole world is invited.
Tim Flear – British Consul General in Rio de Janeiro