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Dilma Rousseff re-elected as Brazil president; Olympic impact

Dilma Rousseff

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 26: Brazilian President and Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Dilma Rousseff (C) celebrates with Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva (R) after being re-elected on October 26, 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil. Rousseff defated Presidential candidate of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) Aecio Neves in a run-off election. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Dilma Rousseff was re-elected to a second term as Brazil’s president on Sunday night, meaning she is in line to be the nation’s head of state during the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Heads of state are always quite visible during the Olympics. Most notably, they usually have the honor of declaring the Games open at the Opening Ceremony.

Vladimir Putin declared the Sochi Olympics open on Feb. 7 (even though competition began Feb. 6).

But in the two Olympics before that, women opened the Games. Canada’s Governor General, Michaelle Jean, opened the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Queen Elizabeth II opened the London 2012 Games.

If Rousseff declares open the Rio Olympics on Aug. 5, 2016, she will be the third woman in four Games to do so. Before Vancouver 2010, three women total opened an Olympics from the first modern Games in Athens in 1986 through the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Those women were Norway’s Princess Ragnhild (Oslo 1952), Queen Elizabeth II (Montreal 1976) and Jeanne Sauve (Calgary 1988).

Canada has hosted the Olympics three times. Every time, a woman has declared the Games open.

Rousseff would also be the first female president to declare open an Olympics.

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