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Brazil's Olympic Ambitions

by Luiz Freire , 16.08.2012

As a Brazilian living in London, it was really exciting to be in the Olympic city, see the games at the Olympic park and feel the Olympic vibe that seemed to permeate the air. It has left Rio de Janeiro with a lot to live up to, but from my own experience, and from what GfK Roper Reports Worldwide consumer insights tell me, I think there are grounds for optimism, as my country prepares for its turn in the global spotlight.

After seven years of preparation, the London Olympics have come to an end after two weeks of an amazing festival of sport. Over 10,000 athletes have been training hard on a daily basis at least for the last four years with a shining golden goal, but only over 300 gold medals were up for grabs (and Michael Phelps got six only for himself!

It may seem to be a lot of hard work for a very brief pleasure, but the Olympic Games is one of the only events celebrated at the same time in every corner of the globe. Not only was it one of the most watched events on television ever, but the opening ceremony was the most Tweeted-about. For these reasons, it is also a seen as an opportunity by many companies to expose their brands and associate themselves with sporting greatness, but that’s another story.

It is known that every Olympic Games brings new world records, but one of the best records this one brought was that for the first time in Olympic history, all 205 countries participating have sent at least one female competitor. This embodies a trend that we have been tracking in our Roper Reports Worldwide survey for some time. Traditional Gender Roles is one of the least important of the 54 personal values we ask about to global consumers, and its popularity has declined by four percentage points since 2009.

So as I say, Rio has a lot to live up to. For example, 4.5 million journeys were made in London and surprisingly, some say public transport was even better during this period. That is due to a lot of preparation and organization that I hope Rio manage to copy, even though I really doubt it when I think about the public transport situation (but let’s hope I am wrong!). But what I am sure about is that the world will be very welcome in Brazil, with a big smile in a country with one of the highest levels of “Social Tolerance” (84%) and “Having Fun” (86%), also based on Roper data 2012. The London Olympics and Paralympics may not yet be over, but we Brazilians are already thinking four years ahead…