NEW YORK, September 24, 2009 - With less than two weeks to go before the 121st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Copenhagen, one the Rio 2016 bid’s most prominent supporters – President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – was honoured with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service at a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City.
President Lula is the first politician to be presented with the award. He was presented with the award on Monday evening by the Honorable Joseph B. Gildenhorn, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil and Eike F. Batista, Chairman and CEO of the Brazilian EBX Group were co-chairs of the dinner.
Mr. Lee H. Hamilton, President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, said “This award is a tribute to a statesman who has strengthened Brazil immensely domestically and elevated its global standing.”
Mr. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Rio 2016 president, congratulated President Lula on behalf of the bid committee and emphasized the importance of his tremendous support for the city’s Olympic campaign.
“We congratulate President Lula on receiving this esteemed award. This award highlights his achievements in developing Brazil’s robust and growing economy and helping our country play an increasing role on the global stage.
“The confirmation that President Lula will participate in Rio’s final presentation to the IOC in Copenhagen on 2nd October is a huge boost for the bid and reaffirms his confidence in our ability to host spectacular Games in 2016. His regular, personal endorsement of the bid also shows that he will play a full role in delivering Rio’s Olympic promise,” said Mr. Nuzman.
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, established by the U.S. Congress in 1968, is a nonpartisan institution supported by public and private funds and aims to explore national and global issues through free, open, and informed dialogue.