The Paralympic closing ceremony has finished. London 2012 is over and the Olympic flame is undoubtedly already covered in glitter, doused in caipirinha and in between a dancers butt cheeks as it makes it's merry way to Rio.
With a countdown of 1426 days to go till Rio 2016, Brazil are pretty damn excited.
Locog's well executed, beautifully demonstrated and perfectly safe games have set a mighty precedent for the third world country to aspire to.
When Brits think of Brazil we often think of Sexy women, Awesome football, Gun crime, and Favelas - in that order. Many foreigners are still rather frightened of Brazil, thanks in part to 'City of God' and in part to Brazil's genuine problems. I was born in the U.K to a British father and Brazilian mother. A woman who had never experienced any form of robbery, assault or even being pick pocketed - until her first day in London, when she was robbed...in Argos.
We fear Brazil because they have real Gangs and Guns, interestingly they fear us because we have Bombs and Terrorists.
Before the Olympics Rio will be hosting football's World Cup in 2014 and have been preparing for a long while. I went over to Rio in December and saw a massive change. Recent efforts to pacify favelas and reclaim the streets have worked, the city has always been well tailored to tourists but the opportunity The World Cup and Olympic and Paralympic games has really helped Brazil clean up. Now there is no place in Rio thats worse that walking down Peckham high street, alone at night.
That's not to say there isn't a long way to go. Brasil is yet to find a balance. As are we. A few people I know avoided the Olympic opening ceremony in fear of a terrorist attack. Those few missed out on an incredible event. Let's not fear the beauty of Brazil and support our TeamGB in Rio as much as we did on home turf.
TeamGB have a new target to set their efforts on.
Our entire nation of athletes look to the sunshine and beaches of Brazil for their next opportunity. We must do this with them. The legacy of our amazing facilities now hangs on nurturing a TeamGB of the future. Creating excitement around sport and holding our medals firmly in our grasp. We conducted an incredible games, Rio have a lot to live up to but one thing the country does better than any other in the world is a massive party - See you in Rio!
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