The images Rio de Janeiro wants the world to see are the 7 million tourists packing the city for the hedonistic celebration of Carnival, and of course flooding in for the Olympics starting on August 5.
But the reality is a lot darker.
But the country can barely pay. It's going through its worst recession in 25 years.
The cost of the OIympics: NZ$16.8 billion. No wonder Rio state is broke, forcing authorities to declare a "state of calamity" last month.
It's hardly surprising unpaid state government employees targeted the Olympic flame.
But don't look to President Dilma Rousseff to fix it, because she's been accused of fixing of a different kind, impeached this year for corruption.
In fact more than half the lawmakers in Brazil's congress are under investigation.
Then into this turbulence flies the Zika virus, which has caused some 3000 cases of microcephaly in babies.
There's one bright spot: transmission rates have plummeted since winter began.
But the cold won't beat the pollution. An Olympic official says only half of the sewage flowing into the Olympic sailing area is treated.
Waterborne virus levels are up to 1.7 million times what's considered hazardous in the US.
But officials say they're working on the issues - and the greatest show on earth must go on.