Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=140339
Story Retrieval Date: 5/22/2013 3:28:55 PM CST
The Chicago area’s Brazilian community is hoping that Chicago won’t be chosen to host the 2016 Olympics. They want Rio de Janeiro's bid to be announced as the winner on Friday by the International Olympic Committee.
“I feel that people should see another side of Brazil, besides violence, carnival, samba, the Amazon and naked women,” said Fabiana Kraemer a 25-year-old business student at Elgin Community College.
Kraemer, a Brazilian immigrant and American citizen, is among those who responded to an informal poll asking local Brazilian immigrants what city should get the 2016 Olympics.
Recently, media attention has spotlighted a controversial Web site that went live Sept. 20 called ChicagoansforRio. The site promotes Rio as the best city to hold the Olympic games.
It compares Chicago with Rio de Janeiro and describes the signature event of both cities as “naked people dancing vs. chubby people eating.”
But, many Brazilians in Illinois agree that Carnival, is not the only good thing in Brazil.
Mariana Sgarbi, founder of the cultural group Maes Brasileiras of Illinois said the games will expose Brazil's natural beauty.
Many of the poll participants expressed a sense of divided allegiance.
“Once you move, you really don’t have a home anymore,” said Patricia Jones who left Brazil in 1999 and now lives in Naperville. “You’re kind of divided.”
And one interviewee said Rio isn’t ready to host the Olympics. "Drug dealers in the favelas [slums] are in charge of the city today,” Da Costa said. She said security would be a major concern for tourists if Rio is chosen to host the games.
Brazilians polled share the sentiments of Brazilians back home. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is very popular in his country and is travelling to Copenhagen to make the case for Rio.