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Football World Cup and Olympics put Brazil on the world sporting map; country democratizes access to sports and invests more than ever in the formation of high-performance athletes

With Lula and Dilma, Brazil becomes the stage of the World Cup and the Olympic Games, is investing as never before in training and encouraging athletes and makes access to sports more democratic / Photo: Getty Images/Portal CupWith Lula and Dilma, Brazil became the scene of the two biggest sporting events on the planet: the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2016. The choice of the country to host these mega events once again confirms the growing role of Brazil on the world stage.

The world recognized in Brazil — a giant that does not stop growing, distributing income, beating records in generating jobs and promoting social mobility of millions of people — the ideal host.

We answered the first challenge, the World Cup, with an unbeatable line-up: on one side, hospitality, friendliness and the joy of the Brazilian people; on the other, the work of the federal government, state governments and the private sector to develop modern, multipurpose arenas that after the World Cup will host football games and musical shows; very first-world airports, which meet the growth in passenger demand (38 million in 2002 to 109 million in 2013); and urban mobility projects that will benefit 60 million Brazilians ...

At the end of the day, we showed an infrastructure that surprised foreigners and will be a legacy for future generations of Brazilians.

Sports for all — in the streets, schools, parks and squares

Preparations for the second challenge, the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, are now in full swing. After all, in the last 12 years, Brazil has specialized in overcoming challenges in all areas, including in sports.

With Lula and Dilma, the country was able to discover and train athletes in a variety of different sports. It built covered multiple-use courts in municipal and state public schools. It established Sport Initiation Centers (CIEs) and delivered high-performance sports equipment, scouting up-and-coming Olympic and Paralympic talent. It spread recreational sport and leisure centers throughout the country, to look after the health of Brazilians of all ages. It approved an advanced Sports Incentives Law and created the Athlete Grant, the world's most direct incentive program for athletes. And much more.

Because Brazil always knew the important thing is to compete. But only in the last 12 years has it learned the path to victory.