Page 3 Profile: Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro


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The Independent Online

Well the name sounds Brazilian, does he have something to do with the next Olympic Games?

He does. While trying to avoid suggesting direct similarity, he is Rio de Janeiro's answer to Boris Johnson, mayor of the host city of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016.

Right. So that is where the comparisons stop, do they?

He probably won't get stuck up a zipwire, but the 2012 Games will be a hard act to follow. Mr Paes, voted into his position in 2008, has pedigree after being involved in the organisation of the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio. However, he has heaped pressure on himself by say that London had held the "greatest ever" Olympics. Legacy is one of his watchwords.

So we should expect a stellar Games, then?

It is too early to tell. While excitement is building in Brazil, there is trepidation about a fragile transport network and the sewage system. Add in controversies about the relocation of citizens in the "revitalisation" of the Olympic Park area and million-dollar kickbacks, and the fact it is the first time South America is hosting the event... One of Brazil's most famous sons, Pele, recently suggested they may not be ready for the Games or the 2014 Football World Cup, saying: "People are saying it will be easy, but I do not think it will be – we have only two years."