Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rio de Janeiro 2016 - Olympics and Paralympics

Rio de Janeiro's bidding process began on July 28, 2006, when the Executive Council of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) met to consider the possibility of nominating a Brazilian city to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.[6][21] This meeting was prompted by the fact that several cities in the world had already demonstrated an early interest around the election, some having already announced their bidding intention.[6] On September 1, 2006, the BOC's Annual Assembly decided unanimously that Rio de Janeiro would be the Brazilian representative seeking to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics,[22][23] The Assembly felt it was the only city in Brazil and Latin America which would possess Olympic-level facilities ready for an Olympic bid, a legacy of its upcoming hosting of XV Pan American Games in 2007.[23][24][25][26] Another positive aspect was that Rio de Janeiro could host all the Olympic sports, excluding football (soccer), within the city limits.[23] The Brazilian government immediately expressed its full support to a bid from Rio de Janeiro.[23][27] The BOC president, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, and then mayor of Rio de Janeiro, César Maia, approved the decision, thus making Rio the official Brazilian candidate for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics bidding campaign.[28][29][30]
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) launched the bidding process for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics on May 16, 2007.[31] All then 203 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were invited to submit the name of a city within their jurisdiction to host the Games,[32] and had until September 13, 2007, to notify the IOC of such intention.[33][34] On September 14, 2007, the IOC announced that seven cities—Baku, Chicago, Doha, Madrid, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo—from three different Associations of National Olympic Committees (ANOCs), had been put forward by their respective NOCs for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.[2][35][36] The Rio de Janeiro bid committee attended the 2016 Applicant Cities' Seminar in Lausanne, Switzerland, on October 18, 2007, where it learnt more about the bidding process.[37][38][39] The seven applicant cities returned their Application Files to the IOC on January 14, 2008.[40] The Application Files, which contain the answers and guarantees requested by the IOC's 2016 Candidature Acceptance Procedure and Questionnaire, provide the IOC with an overview of each applicant city's project.[40] The responses were studied by the IOC Working Group and the IOC Executive Board, at the latter meeting to decide which cities would be accepted as candidate cities.[40]
The IOC announced that Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid had made it onto the final shortlist, during a June 4, 2008 meeting in Athens, Greece.[3][5][41][42] This decision was based on a report by a special IOC Working Group of experts, after a thorough technical analysis of the projects presented on the files submitted by the applicant cities.[3][43] This group assessed each city's potential for staging successful Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2016,[3] according to eleven criteria: government support, legal issues and public opinion; general infrastructure; sport venues; Olympic village; environment conditions and impact; accommodation; transport concept; safety and security; experience from past sport events; finance; and overall project and legacy.[3] Between August 5 and August 26, 2008, the bidding committees from the four candidate cities participated in the Olympic Games Observer Program, during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.[44][45] On February 12, 2009, the IOC announced that it had received the Candidature Files of the four candidates.[46][47][48] Seven days later, the Candidature File was also delivered to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in Bonn, Germany.[49] The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Candidate File has three volumes containing 568 pages of detailed answers to 300 technical questions, divided into 17 themes.[50]
Main article: Evaluation of the Rio de Janeiro bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics
Rio de Janeiro bid for the 2004 and the 2012 Summer Olympics, but failed on both occasion, and missed the shortlist in each of the attempts.[51] On March 14, 2008, the IOC's 2016 Working Group released its evaluation report.[52] Through analysis of the Applicant Files, the IOC gave a weighted-average score to each bid—Tokyo scored 8.3, Madrid 8.1, Chicago 7.0, Doha 6.9, Rio de Janeiro 6.4, Prague 5.3, and Baku 4.3—based on the scores obtained in each of the questionnaire's eleven themes.[53][54][55] According to the Working Group, the minimum required grade was benchmarked at 6; being closer to 0 considered to be unsatisfactory, closer to 10 to be satisfactory and around 5 to be average.[52] Rio de Janeiro had its highest score in the Government support, legal issues and public opinion theme and its lowest in the Safety and security theme.[52] The IOC's decision to select Rio de Janeiro over Doha generated criticism,[56][57] as the Doha bid committee accused the IOC of "closing the door on the Arab world" and of making a political decision rather than judging on technical grounds.[58] Doha outperformed Rio de Janeiro in the majority of the categories assessed by the IOC,[58] but according to the IOC, Doha's desire to stage the Summer Olympics in October, rather than the traditional mid-summer time frame, because of high temperatures was the reason the bid was rejected.[59][60]
On September 18, 2008, the IOC announced the composition of the Evaluation Commission which would inspect the four candidate cities.[61][62] The Commission, composed of representatives from the Olympic Movement and advisors, was led by Nawal El Moutawakel, who had also chaired the Evaluation Commission for the 2012 Summer Olympics bid process.[61][63] On April 27, 2009, the IOC Evaluation Commission arrived in Rio de Janeiro to assess the conditions of the candidature.[11] According to IOC members and with Madrid yet to visit, the welcoming activities prepared by the city had been the best.[64] During the first two days, the Commission held internal meetings at the Copacabana Palace, the host hotel.[65] Between April 29 and 30, the Commission attended technical presentations and participated in question-and-answer sessions on each of the seventeen themes presented in the Candidature File.[65][66] The last two days were marked by the inspectors' visit to all the existing venues across the city.[12] After seven days of inspections involving 300 professionals, the thirteen members of the IOC Evaluation Commission—of which seven have voting rights—left Rio de Janeiro on the way to Madrid, on May 3, 2009.[65][67] According to Moutawakel, the Commission was very impressed with the level of integration of the Games in the country's long-term development plan.[68]
On May 4, 2009, the Rio de Janeiro bid committee accused the Madrid bid committee of sending a spy to Rio de Janeiro during the visit of the inspection commission, and considered filing a formal ethics complaint with the IOC.[69] According to the Madrid bid committee, accusations it spied on a rival candidate had been blown out of proportion.[69] The IOC Evaluation Commission analysed the Candidature Files and performed on-site inspections in Chicago (April 2–7), Tokyo (April 14–19), Rio de Janeiro (April 27 – May 2), and Madrid (May 4–9).[70][71][72] It then released a comprehensive technical appraisal for the IOC members, one month before the host city election on October 2, 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark.[11][61][73][74] The IOC Executive Board then draws up the candidate cities to be submitted for the final vote by the IOC Session.[75][76] The election takes place in a country which does not have a candidate for the Games in question.[75]

Moment of the announcement of Rio de Janeiro as the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The city of Copenhagen was chosen to stage the 13th Olympic Congress, together with the meetings of the Executive Board and the 121st IOC Session on October 2, 2009.[75][77] The capital of Denmark was picked over Athens, Busan, Cairo, Riga, Singapore and Taipei, on February 8, 2006, during the 118th IOC Session held in Turin, Italy.[77] The last day of the Olympic campaign began with the opening of the 121st IOC Session at the Copenhagen's Bella Center. Each city made its final presentation in the order of drawing of lots (Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid) as performed by the IOC Executive Board in 2007.[78] The cities had 45 minutes to make a presentation to the Session, followed by 15 minutes for questions.[79] Following the presentations by the cities, Nawal El Moutawakel presented the report of the Evaluation Commission to the Session.[78] Chicago fell in the first round, followed by Tokyo, after the eligible IOC members have been asked to vote.[80][81] In the final round, Rio de Janeiro was elected with a large majority of the votes over Madrid (66 to 32).[82][82] The announcement of the winning city was communicated by Jacques Rogge at the announcement ceremony, following which, the BOC and Rio de Janeiro signed the Host City Contract.[83][84] The entire procedure leading to the election of Rio de Janeiro as the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympics was governed by the Olympic Charter.[75][85]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Let BrazMia Tours get you to Brazil - Fun - Fun

Florianópolis is the state capital of Santa Catarina, located south of Curitiba and north of Porto Alegre. From those cities and São Paulo it's just a short flight of a bit more than an hour. The city of Florianópolis is located on both sides of a narrow strait separating the Brazilian mainland from the large Island of Santa Catarina, from which the state takes its name. Downtown Florianópolis, the airport, and all the attractions of interest to a visitor are located in the island part of the city. The island is fringed by more than 40 beautiful beaches, from small intimate coves to miles-long strands that disappear into the distance. The most famous tourist beaches and resorts are located at the northern end of the island. Canasvieiras, Inglêses and Jureré are among the best known, and a mecca for vacationing Argentines during the Southern summer. To the south, beaches like Armação, Campeche, and Pantano do Sul still remain fishing villages, mostly unvisited by tourists. On the West side of the island facing the mainland you'll find the villages of Santo Antônio de Lisboa and Ribeirão da Ilha which preserve the architecture of the Azores, a heritage dating back to the settlement of area by Azoreans in 1748.

Floripa has the best Carnival in Southern Brazil, hands down, and it has become a "must" for gays from the big Southern cities like São Paulo, Curitiba and Porto Alegre. Floripa's Carnival has parades and samba schools, but also lots of "street carnival," with costumed revelers everywhere in the city's center during the evenings. You'll see some VERY creative drag, if you go! Since it's summer, local residents and the gay crowd head for the day to Praia Mole, directly across the island from the city, on the Atlantic side. Facing the ocean, the gay side of the beach is to the far left, where the Bar do Deca is "our crowd's" gathering point. Clambering over the rocky promontory at the north end of the beach you'll come to the undeveloped and less crowded Praia da Galheta (very reminiscent of Southern California's Zuma Beach) which is clothing-optional. (There are virtually no services at Galheta, so bring bottled water and food with you.) Spend the day "sur-la-plage" then, after a quick "disco nap," you'll be ready to hit the streets downtown for the Carnival madness!

If you have time, there are other places to see in the beautiful state of Santa Catarina. About an hour north of Floripa is Balneário Camboriú, a mini-Copacabana popular with vacationers from Argentina and the Brazilian interior. There are a couple of year-round gay places in Camboriú where guys from Floripa go for a change of scenery! Not very far inland from Floripa are a couple of posh thermal spas at Caldas da Imperatriz, where you can "take the waters" for various ailments or just have a luxurious soak! Farther inland, through spectacular scenery in the mountains, is São Joaquim, the only town in Brazil that predictably gets snow in the winter! The surrounding area is one of Brazil's main sources of temperate fruits like apples and peaches, which can't be grown without a a cold winter for the trees to be dormant.


You may not have heard much about it yet, but the city of Florianopolis is slowly but surely building a reputation as the next jet-set hot spot; something like a combination of St. Tropez, Punta del Este, and the Hamptons—but with lower prices. It’s also increasingly on the radar for gay and lesbian travelers looking for sun, sand, and sophistication without the big-city hassles of places like Rio de Janeiro.
The city of Florianopolis, called Floripa by most Brazilians, is the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, set on a 202-square-mile island just off the coast of southern Brazil. Floripa, however, feels more like a collection of towns, thanks to its 42 beaches, natural beauty, and outdoor activities.

For all the glitzy development I’ve heard about, I begin my visit (accompanied by an array of International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association members who are equally curious about the destination) in the quiet southern part of the island, where nearly half of the terrain is covered with Atlantic rainforest. We hike a secluded path to reach Naufragados Beach, an uncrowded sunny spot where we enjoy the sand and the view of a far-off lighthouse before boarding a small boat to a nearby oyster farm. Oyster farming and fishing continue to be an important source of revenue for locals. This homegrown industry dates back to 1673, when the first Azorean and Portuguese settlers dropped anchor here. Early settlers also left their mark in the charming architecture, which is especially visible in small Azorean settlements like Ribeirão. These small communities are great places to try the local seafood, as I find out during a tasty lunch at Porto de Contrato, a waterfront restaurant with a beautiful view.