- Title: BRAZIL: OLYMPICS: Rio hopes to celebrate Olympic dream with beach concert.
- Date: 3rd October 2009
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (OCTOBER 2, 2009) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DAYBREAK IN RIO DE JANEIRO ON COPACABANA BEACH SUN COMING OUT BEHIND MOUNTAINS SUN REFLECTING ON OCEAN MAN RUNNING ON OCEANSIDE AVENUE CHRIST THE REDEEMER STATUE GENERAL VIEW OF COPACABANA BEACH GENERAL VIEW OF CONCERT STAGE VARIOUS OF DISH TRUCKS VARIOUS OF NEWSSTAND
- Embargoed: 18th October 2009 13:00
- Location: Brazil
- Country: Brazil
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA7RV91MZH63VI6CCI04F5JQRGE
- Story Text: People start to arrive at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach for a massive celebration ahead of the International Olympic Committee's vote when the Brazilian city may be chosen to host the world's biggest sports event in 2016.
Over 100,000 people are expected to attend Rio de Janeiro's samba-infused Olympic celebration in Copacabana beach on Friday (October 2) morning if the city is awarded the world's largest sporting event will be announced.
After days of rain and unusually low temperatures, the clear sunny sky are the day's first present for Rio residents, who are mostly confident that their hometown will host the Olympic Games in 2016.
The final touches were added to the large concert stage, where rock star Lulu Santos, Rio's Salgueiro samba school and other popular bands are set to perform after the IOC's highly anticipated announcement.
Bookmakers have Rio as second favorite behind Chicago, but there is a strong feeling in Brazil that it has the momentum to tip the balance away from the U.S. city and bring the Olympics to South America for the first time. Tokyo and Madrid are the other candidates running against Rio in the battle for the Games.
Kayky Souza, one of the first to arrive at the concert venue, said Rio's beauty would award it the Olympic gold on Friday.
"I have faith in God that Rio de Janeiro will win this battle because it's the world's most beautiful city," he said, holding a poster designed with a Catholic saint.
As part of the city's bid, organizers are promising new roads to ease congestion, more progressive security policies to deal with drug violence in its slums, and a clean-up of its polluted lakes and the main bay of Guanabara.
The prospect of Olympics events incorporating Rio's iconic landmarks are a key selling point in the strongest-ever bid by a South American city for the Games.
Wearing a Brazil shirt, Rio resident Emilia Freitas said she was a fan of U.S. President Barack Obama, but would support her country this time.
"I like Obama very much, I adore him, but Brazil comes first, Brazil first. I will cheer for Brazil," she said.
Many Cariocas, as Rio's residents are known, are confident and hope the Games would kick-off a renaissance for the city in the same way that the 1992 Olympics did for Barcelona.
But the city known for its golden beaches overlooked by the Christ the Redeemer statue remains dogged by a reputation for crime.
Rio's successful hosting of the Pan-American games in 2007 left a sour taste for many because of cost overruns and unmet promises such as an expansion of the city's subway lines.
Although surveys show 85 percent of Cariocas and 69 percent of Brazilians support the Games, some are skeptical that the benefits would filter down to ordinary people.
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