Brazilian Sports Minister Ricardo Leyser said Wednesday (Apr. 13) that the political crisis facing Brazil will not pose an obstacle to the staging of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He acknowledged, however, that the unrest has reduced the visibility of the event in the national news.
“The only way the political crisis affects the games is, it turns the focus of Brazilians away. We'll be receiving the world's top athletes, but people are not tuned in on the chance and the possibility of watching the events,” he said in a radio interview on Dom Dia, Ministro.
Leyser argues that the beginning of the torch relay may draw people's attention to the games and raise the demand for tickets. On May 3, the torch starts its route across the country, which should last up to the opening ceremony, on August 5. All Brazilian regions and state capitals are to be visited by the torch, which will travel through 300 cities. “We'll be going through all major tourist attractions and the population is preparing to show samples of their culture and art,” Leyser said.
He noted that the meaning of the torch is particularly important for the country at this moment. “It's a symbol of peace and union between nations. In ancient times, even wars were interrupted for the Olympics,” he said, explaining that the relay will also serve to promote tourism in Brazil.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.