How Rio ‘lived their passion’ to win.

So Rio won it and blew the other cities, particularly Chicago away. How did they do it ?

First obstacle was the technical evaluation which let them down four years ago. This time, and with acknowleged advice of Mike Lee of the London bid, they learnt from experience and arrived at Copenhagen as favourites. This was the position of Paris four years ago.

Unlike Paris, they, like London, pitched ‘heart and soul’, brilliantly. They were best on the day, a day when political manoevering takes a back seat since the IOC members vote anonymously.  Based on reports from Copenhagen, these are some of the things Rio did best.


They cemented the personal relationships. In the few days preceding the final, IOC allow direct solicitation of  members. It looks as if President Lula, who had been deeply and personally involved for years, was known by each and every one of them! (Four years ago Blair’s big contribution was meeting separately some 40 members).

Obama’s fleeting visit may have impressed but it would not have wooed .

In his presentation Lula employed the ‘killer visual’!  A map of the world highlighting host cities showed how his continent had been ignored. (30 in Europe, 12 in North America and 5 in Asia).  There were some ‘killer’ words too. “It is time to redress the balance.  It will serve to inspire the 180  million young people on this continent…. You will see for yourselves the passion, energy and creativity of the Brazilian people”.

After the London bid Seb Coe said to me that their historic win was down to them making an “emotional connection”.  That is what did it for Rio. As Jacques Rogges said about their emotional approach and pitch film, ” Live your passion struck a chord with my fellow members”

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