altOctober 2 - The decision two years ago today to award the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics to Rio de Janeiro marked a major turning point in the history of Brazil, it has been claimed.

Rio were chosen ahead of Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Copenhagen, sparking memorable scenes among the thousands of people watching the announcement on giant screens on Copacabana Beach.

"Two years ago, yet another historical date was added to Rio de Janeiro's and Brazil's official calendar: the day we won the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time," said Carlos Nuzman, the President of Rio 2016 in a statement released to coincide with the anniversary.

"It is precisely because I understand this milestone needs to be valued that I make a point of starting all my presentations on the subject with the video that recalls this unprecedented achievement.

"All the efforts of a decade to make the dream of bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Brazil culminated on that date.

"Today we make steady progress on the road to memorable Games.

"And recalling October 2, 2009, means strengthening in each one of us the motivation to work towards the delivery of a successful event that brings about sustainable transformations.

"Today we celebrate that turning point in the history of Brazilian sport and of our country.

"It is in this frame of mind, as we complete two years of that victory, that I invite us all to recall our feelings on that day and to celebrate this achievement that belongs to everyone of us."


By Duncan Mackay