US & World

Brazilians in LA have mixed feelings about Rio Olympics

Olympic rings are displayed by the Brazilian delegation during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016. / AFP / Antonin THUILLIER        (Photo credit should read ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Olympic rings are displayed by the Brazilian delegation during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016. / AFP / Antonin THUILLIER (Photo credit should read ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/Getty Images
Olympic rings are displayed by the Brazilian delegation during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016. / AFP / Antonin THUILLIER        (Photo credit should read ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
The exterior of Cafe Brasil in Culver City.
Jamie aka jbcurio via Flickr Creative Commons


Listen to story

00:52
Download this story 0MB

At Supermercado Brazil, a tiny Brazilian grocery store in Culver City, Mariana Pinheiro watched the opening ceremonies on Friday afternoon from her computer at the counter.

She has been following the Olympics in Rio along with the turmoil in her native country that's serving as the backdrop. She's not optimistic that the games will help Brazil's economy or much else.

"It's going to help for this month and then it's going to come back to what was," Pinheiro says.

A customer, Rafaela Dias, shopped for guava paste and other treats. Dias moved here from Brazil four months ago.

She says she's embarrassed for her country but she hopes the games might help in the long term. "If we embarrass ourselves enough to a point that the public starts demanding more and more from our government, I think that's the good outcome that could come out of it," Dias says.

One person who's not planning to watch the games was Brazilian tourist Leandro Onishi. He was busy eating at Cafe Brasil with a friend who lives in L.A.

He wishes his home country would clean up its act before hosting the Olympics.

"Now it is coming out, for example the corruption that was [hidden] two or three years ago, and almost nobody knew about it — now it is coming up," Onishi says.

Onishi says he's heading back home soon — but even then, he won't be attending the games.