Rio Olympics 2016 hasn’t kicked off yet but the positive transformations brought by it are significant, despite all the controversy and criticism that comprises the host city. The opening ceremony is set for this upcoming Friday, July 5. Athletes have arrived at the Olympic Village, and many tourists are landing in Rio de Janeiro for this big sports event.
Brazil has been immersed in a severe recession and corruption scandals — including the pending impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. At first, Rio citizens were reluctant about hosting the Olympic Games. As the event approached, many citizens have changed their minds when analyzing the positives changes the coming Olympic games has brought to the city of Rio.
Renovation of Porto MaravilhaImage Source: Cidade Olimpica
One of the biggest projects was Porto Maravilha — or Marvelous Port —and it consisted in the renovation of the port area of Rio. Rio’s port area is an important historic site. Although it was neglected for many years, the port has striking natural sceneries. The renovations made are now visible. An elevated highway came down, bikeways were built, buildings were restored and museums were open in order to revive the zone. The port area is now an attraction to many tourists and citizens aiming to explore the city even deeper.
Museum of Tomorrow — or Museu do Amanhã — is one of the main attractions, with long lines of visitors every day. The museum represents the hope for a new future for downtown Rio.
The memory of an unpleasant Rio’s port is now gone. Today, an attractive touristic site takes over, welcoming visitors every day.
Tourism and EconomyImage Source: Npr
As Rio hosts the Olympics 2016, many foreigners are expected to come. Consequently, it will be a prosperous season for the hospitality industry. More tourists arriving will bring more business, which will benefit the economy.
Several companies have invested capital in the city, causing a respite to the crisis that seized the country lately.
As it happened in the 2014 Soccer World Cup, the arrival of tourists will bring an expanded cultural diversity to Rio, too. The population will be able to engage with people from different parts of the globe.
In addition, there will be different cultural events (paid and also free) during the Olympics for everyone.
Improved Public TransportationImage Source: Surto Olimpico
Public transportation is the greatest improvement brought by the Rio Olympics. Long hours stuck in traffic and lacking transportation options were huge issues for the population — traffic congestion in Brazil is one of the world’s highest. So, this was an innovation many Brazilians are happy about.
Subway lines were expanded and now reach new neighborhoods, including favelas that were once isolated.
The construction of the VLT Carioca — The Rio Light Rail — was a significant innovation for the population. It connects the port region to the city’s financial center and, also, to the Santos Dumont Airport.
A new underground tunnel, ‘Prefeito Marcello Alencar’, was also created to relieve the chaotic traffic.
Olympic ParksImage Source: About Brasil
Two Olympic Parks were built in Barra da Tijuca and Deodoro neighborhoods. The Olympics will leave those two sports complexes as a legacy to the Brazilian athletes.
SecurityImage Source: Koat
Rio citizens have been reporting an increase in the number of security officers. The National Force is also on the streets working alongside the Rio de Janeiro Military Police force. Rio citizens expect that the security in the streets remains once the Rio Olympics 2016 is over.
Brazil’s chaotic traffic is among one of the worst in the world. However, the improvement of public transportation and also the construction of a new underground tunnel had a positive impact on the traffic.
Rio de Janeiro’s Modern LookImage Source: NBC News
Many Brazilians agree that Rio de Janeiro looks more beautiful than it ever did. Streets are cleaner and in better conditions. Both public transportation and the streets have better signals. Rio’s streets are also more colorful and welcoming.
The Prestige of hosting the Olympic GamesImage Source: Brasil Post
Despite the controversy and concerns, hosting the Olympics 2016 is certainly an advantage. To be able to welcome several foreigners, athletes or tourists, and host one of the biggest sports events is a reason to be honored. Brazilians are happy, cheerful people, despite all the issues they face on a daily basis. And being the host of the Olympic Games 2016 is a big reason to forget about their problems for a couple of days and simply enjoy all the happiness this celebration will bring to the city.
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