By Mike Rowbottom at the Olympic Park
April 3 - President Lula of Brazil (pictured), seeking to win the 2016 Games for Rio, made an impassioned plea for the Olympic Movement to recognise the new realities of world economic power after visiting London’s site today.
The President, who extended his trip to the G20 summit meeting by an extra day so that he could witness progress within the 2012 Olympic Park, insisted that now was the time for the Games to be awarded to South America for what would be the only time other than Mexico in 1968.
"We believe the Olympics can not be the privilege only of what people consider as the developed world," he said as he looked out on a panoramic view of Olympic building activity.
"We need to democratise the process of who has a major sports event like the Olympic Games.
"Europe has already hosted the Olympics many times, and so has the United States.
"Now what about Brazil?
"If the Olympics was a golf tournament it could be just in these countries.
"And the snow tournaments - we can’t run for those.
"But we want the summer Olympics, not the snow events."
President Lula accepted that the conferring of a new sporting status on Brazil, which is already hosting the 2014 World Cup finals, would parallel his country’s new standing in the fluctuating world economy.
"Today Brazil is a not country that is being treated as underdeveloped, but a country that has new growth," he said.
"The world economy is being sustained by emerging countries like us.
"We have also seen the emergence of China, India and South Africa.
"The economic world and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) also know that fact."
Emphasising that all three levels of Government - federal, state and city - were already united in the aim of hosting and funding the Games.
"I will not be President of Brazil in 2016, but this is a commitment of the Brazilian state."
He added that it had been "very important" for him to see what London was building in the Olympic Park.
"Now we will be more clear in Brazil," he said.
"You don’t have to reinvent the wheel - you can see how London is keeping some parts of the Olympics and changing and dismantling others.
"It will change the Olympic Stadium from 70-80,000 spectators to 25,000.
"But the swimming pool will be left for the community."
The President of Brazilian Olympic Committee, Carlos Nuzman, told insidethegames: "It was vital us to see how London will be keeping some venues and changing others to ensure a legacy to the community.
"The system of the Olympic Village is also very important, and the way the Olympic Park will develop its social areas.
"Some of these ideas will now be used in Rio."