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Brazil president: Rio 2016’s goal to be better than London 2012

Dilma Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks to journalists on the second day of a European Union and the Community of Latin America and Caribbean states (EU-CELAC) summit on June 11, 2015 at the European Union headquarters in Brussels.AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

The Rio 2016 Olympics’ goal is to put on a Games better than London 2012, Brazil president Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday, according to an O Globo report translated by Xinhua News Agency.

“Your [2012 Games] were very successful,” Rousseff said Wednesday, when she met British Prime Minister David Cameron in Belgium. “Brazil is quite ahead of time, and we aim to put on a monumental party. Let me say that our aim, like all Olympic hosts, is to do it even better.”

Leading into London 2012, British organizers said their goal was not to try to better or even replicate the size and scope of the Beijing 2008 Games. China’s population is about 20 times that of Great Britain. Brazil’s population is about three times that of Great Britain.

A South American nation has never hosted an Olympics. In 2012, London became the first city to host an Olympics three times.

Rousseff was re-elected to a second term as Brazil’s president in October, 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.

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.

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