RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista donated 13 million reais (some $6.8 million) to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee, with the gift coming a little more than two months before the winning host city is announced.
The billionaire made the donation on Monday, adding to the 10 million reais (some $4.5 million) he gave the organizing effort in April, the Brazilian Olympic Committee said on its Rio 2016 Web site.
Batista, who Forbes magazine estimates is worth some $7.5 billion, made the donation via his holding company, Grupo EBX, which owns mining company MMX, oil firm OGX, energy company EBX and logistics firm LLX.
The businessman said he was confident that Rio de Janeiro had a good chance of being selected the host for the Games at the Oct. 2 meeting in Copenhagen.
The Brazilian city is competing with Tokyo, Madrid and Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“Rio has all the conditions to win this competition,” Batista said, adding that he was confident of the full backing of public officials, including Pesident Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, for the Olympic bid.
Batista’s donation “shows the confidence of Brazilian businessmen” in the Olympic bid, Brazilian Olympic Committee and Rio 2016 Committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman said.
“We are in the home stretch of the campaign, a time of much unity,” Nuzman said, noting that Batista had been an “enthusiastic supporter” of the Rio Olympic bid since learning about it. EFE