Sao Paulo - Sixty percent of Brazilians believe the Rio Olympics, which start in just over a week, will bring more bad than good to the country, according to a poll Wednesday.
The Ibope poll, published in Sao Paulo daily Estadao, found only 32 percent of Brazilians expect the first Games ever held in South America to be more positive than negative.
This split showed a darker mood than on the eve of the last major sporting event hosted by Brazil, the 2014 football World Cup. Then, 40 percent expected more negative outcomes compared to 43 percent who were optimistic.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes brushed off the poll, telling Estadao that "people will understand the greatness of the Olympic Games. The city of Rio is already benefiting from the legacy, the population is already benefiting. The Olympics represent a huge success for the city, a great victory."
When Brazil won the Rio hosting rights back in 2009 the economy was booming and then president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was immensely popular.
Today Brazil is in deep recession and political crisis, with Lula's handpicked successor Dilma Rousseff facing being removed from office in an impeachment vote shortly after the Games end. Lula himself faces serious corruption allegations.