A GENEROUS Malaga shoeshine man has gifted Brazil a free Twitter account ahead of next year’s Rio Olympics in order to help publicise the event.
Javier Castano, aged 50, who earns around €30 a day shining shoes on the streets of Malaga, handed over the password for the Twitter handle @riodejaneiro to Rio de Janeiro City Hall, and intends to do the same for @japan for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
According to AFP, Castano registered a number of Twitter account names in 2007 when the social networking site was in its infancy. He spent the last number of years sending messages to Rio City Hall offering them the account, and this week the Brazilians finally replied and accepted.
“I am a shoeshine man with not much money, but I have the privilege of being able to give a gift to 130 million Japanese people or eight million people in Rio,” said Castano. “Could you do that?”
The humble shoeshine man has already handed over @canada and @madrid to authorities there and is ready to hand over @japan.
“I am very happy now,” he said. “My only remaining task is to hand over @japan.”
Rio’s tourism secretary, Antonio Pedro Figueira Mello, said: “We are very happy to at last be able to use the name of our city on the social network. This will be of great value now that we are getting closer to the Olympics.”