Pelé/ JO 2016: "I am ready to die for my country"
COPENHAGEN - The football legend Pele, who came to Copenhagen to support the candidacy of Rio de Janeiro, Wednesday expressed readiness to "die" for his country so that it gets the 2016 Olympics which will be attributed Friday.
- "If I had to die for my country, I would die for my country. And for sport," said Pele, responding at a news conference to the question of an American journalist on the involvement of sporting legends in the candidacy.
Asked about the absence of the former basketball player Michael Jordan to support Chicago, Pele said in a slip: "I do not know why Michael Jackson is not in Copenhagen but I, during my whole life, I gave the best of myself for Brazil. I won three World Cups for my country and unfortunately no OJ because as a professional I could not play. So I would win the Olympics for Rio and why not in 2016, I could participate.
"Sport has changed my life. It could change the lives of thousands of children in Brazil, if Rio got the Olympics," continued Pele, aged 68. "You the United States," he resumed at the American press who come in numbers, you've already had three or four times the games (eight times actually counting Olympic Winter and Summer). It's time to organize them in South America."
Pele will be Friday at the presentation of the carioca candidacy to members of the IOC International Olympic Committee (IOC), the main advantage of the team with Brazilian President Lula.
Co-favorite with the Brazilian megalopolis, the American city of Chicago will benefit from the presence of the presidential couple Barack and Michelle Obama.
Madrid and Tokyo, also in the running for getting the Olympics, will respectively support the king and queen of Spain, and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
Ennaharonline/ M. O.