The Jewish Chronicle


- BY SI­MON GRIVER Sports · Olympic Games · Extreme Sports · Canoeing and Kayaking · Rio 2016 · Brazil · International Olympic Committee · Tokyo · Israel

GET­TING the Rio Olympics un­der way has been the cul­mi­na­tion of years of painstak­ing work by Car­los Arthur Nuz­man, Pres­i­dent of the Brazil Olympic Com­mit­tee since 1995 and head of the Rio Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee.

“I’m the proud­est man alive,” said Mr Nuz­man last Fri­day dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony. “The best place in the world is here and now.”

Mr Nuz­man, the son of Izaak Nuz­man, a for­mer pres­i­dent of the Rio Jewish com­mu­nity, has de­voted much of his life to the Olympic move­ment. He rep­re­sented Brazil in vol­ley­ball in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, and sat on the IOC from 2000-2012.

Mr Nuz­man, a lawyer, said: “My

con­nec­tion with Ju­daism and with Is­rael is through sports. I started my ca­reer play­ing at the Brazil­ian Is­raelite Club and I have at­tended four Mac­cabiah Games in Is­rael.”

The last few years have been dif­fi­cult for him, with the rush to get the fa­cil­i­ties ready on time, con­cerns over the Zika virus, and the crit­i­cism that the Olympics are a luxury Brazil can­not af­ford. How­ever, Mr Nuz­man in­sisted that the games were a huge boost for the coun­try’s im­age.

Other mem­bers of Rio’s 40,000-strong Jewish com­mu­nity also hold se­nior po­si­tions — Sid­ney Levy is the Rio 2016 Com­mit­tee’s CEO and Leonardo Gryner the Deputy CEO.

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