The 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Brazil’s soft power
Work by Bárbara Schausteck de Almeida, Wanderley Marchi Júnior and Elizabeth Pikepublished at Contemporary Social Science, Special Issue <<The Olympic Legacy>>. The economic growth of nations such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa starred a new order into the global power balance. For Brazil, winning the rights to host sport mega events gave the country recognition and symbolic power in the international arena. The ensuing expectation is to increase these achievements while staging the events and to sustain the profits to a remarkable level of ‘soft power’. Using the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic election as a starting point, this paper aims to reveal how sport has been used as a strategy of foreign policy to improve the country’s soft power. After reviewing some key features of the Brazilian political and economic context, and the foreign policy agenda in the 2000s and the 2016 election, it is shown that sport mega events support and reflect the intention of many Brazilian political officials intention to increase the status of Brazil in the international sphere.