The Brazilian delegation in Beijing 2008 is the largest the country has ever sent to Olympic Games – 277 athletes and a total of 469 delegation members. In the Athens '04 Olympics, Brazil participated with 247 athletes.
The Brazilian delegation in Beijing 2008 has 132 women – another historical record. Hopefully, Brazilian athletes in the 2008 Olympics will help the country take a leap in its medal count. Brazil enters the Beijing Olympic Games with 76 medals in Summer Olympics - 17 gold, 21 silver and 38 bronze.
Sailor Robert Scheidt carried the national flag as he led the delegation from Brazil in the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attended the Opening Ceremony and said, in an interview to BBC, that the main reason he went to Beijing was to promote Rio de Janeiro's bid to host the Olympics in 2016.
In a press conference held in Beijing, Lula responded to questions about violence in Rio by reaffirming the success of the 2007 Pan American Games. He also expressed his confidence in social projects carried out in Rio de Janeiro's slums as a way to reduce violence.
Asked about the financial burden of possibly hosting the Olympic Games just two years after hosting the 2014 World Cup, the president played up the gains from investing in the Olympics.
The four finalists in the bid to host the 2016 Olympics are Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.