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Will the stadiums built for the World Cup become so-called "white elephants"?
No. The new stadiums. — actually, multipurpose arenas — will drive the soccer industry in Brazil. A study by the FGV (Getulio Vargas Foundation) points out that, with appropriate and efficient management structures, the Brazilian soccer industry could generate financial turnover of up to R$ 60 billion a year and employ over two million Brazilians, directly or indirectly. With a BNDES credit line in the amount of R$ 3.8 billion (resources that will return later to the federal government's coffers), 12 arenas for all regions of the country were built or renovated. After the World Cup, they will remain as legacies for the 12 host cities, representing venues up to international standards with the potential for hosting a variety of sports and cultural events. The construction and renovation of the arenas required an additional R$ 4 billion, which originated investments by state and municipal governments and private partners.
Isn't the Athlete Grant just a privilege for a few athletes which could lead to making it less useful?
No. The Athlete Grant, established in 2005 by President Lula, today stands as the largest direct incentive program for athletes in the world. In 2013, the Athlete Grant program reached a record number of beneficiaries, comprising 5,691 athletes in various categories: Base, Student, National, International and Olympic/Paralympic Athletes, besides the new Podium Grant. All these categories are intended to support not only Olympic athletes but also athletes aiming at a number of other levels of competition and various levels of training phases. In the 2012 Olympics in London, Brazil was represented by 259 athletes. Of these, 111 were Athlete Grant recipients. Among them was Sarah Menezes of Piaui, who won the first gold medal in the history of Brazilian women's judo.
Isn't Brazil investing its limited resources in high performance sports, and forgetting about sports for the general population?
No. By the end of 2014, for example, 263 municipalities — in 27 states — were to have received 285 Sport Initiation Centers (CIEs) as part of the goal of extending the legacy of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Rio to all the units of the Brazilian Federation. To this end, the Federal government is investing R$ 967 million in multi-purpose equipment that will foster initiation into sports and develop the high performance sports at the same time, stimulating the formation of athletes in socially at risk areas. In addition, the federal government is also seeking to strengthen initiatives such as the City Sports and Leisure Program (Pelc), which offers physical, cultural and leisure activities involving all age groups and people with disabilities, and its adjunct, the Healthy Lifestyle Program, aimed specifically at the practice of sports by the elderly.
What is the risk of sports resources being diverted by corrupt leaders who perpetuate themselves in power in sports organizations and federations?
The changes carried out in Brazilian sports have also led to important transformation in the sports federations. In order to ensure that progress will be consolidated and more gains are achieved, in October 2013 President Dilma signed Law 12.868/2013, which mandates that leaders or sports entities receiving federal funds may now be elected to their positions for a maximum four years, with only one renewal term allowed. The objective of the measure is to ensure a gust of fresh air reaches the management of these organizations.
What practical results have already been seen by the investments in Brazilian sports that have been promoted?
In addition to the country's winning victories in strong areas for decades — such as soccer, volleyball, swimming and judo — today Brazil is also becoming stronger in new areas, such as Paralympic sports, artistic gymnastics and women's handball. With a long-term outlook and high quality work, Brazil's women's handball teams won the World Championship 2013 in Serbia. At the Olympic Games in London in 2012, Arthur Zanetti won the first gymnastics medal in Brazil's history, winning the gold in the rings competition. And at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Brazil's athletes also delivered the best performance of the country's history, winning 21 gold medals and ensuring the seventh overall position on the medals list.