My original idea for the cover was an image of an indigenous Amazonian (teenager) jumping through/out of the center ring of the Olympic rings. Then I learned that you can't use the Olympic rings without permission. Perhaps some variation on that image will work, but don't feel restricted by that idea. Please read below for more info and ideas.
Why did that image make sense to me? Because the story is about an indigenous teenager who is discovered in the Amazon by a scientist working for a power company. The scientists is on a team researching whether to build a huge hydroelectric dam not far from the boy's village.
One morning while bushwhacking up a stream, the scientist sees the boy make a miraculous jump across a good size stream. He brings the boy to Rio de Janeiro with the help of the power company, and the boy proves himself to be the greatest long jumper in the world. He becomes a huge star in Brazil, with his image in ads and on billboards for the power company, who sponsors him and pays him well. The billboards say - Leap forward into the future with Electrobras.
Meanwhile, the 2016 Olympics are coming to Rio de Janeiro, and the boy, Mundu, is Brazil's best chance for gold in track and field.
But a few months before the Olympics, it leaks out that the power company is going to build the dam that will flood the boy's village and the land that he loves.
The boy's choice is the same choice facing everyone on this endangered planet: take the money and the secure position being offered by the system, or fight for what you believe is right.
Mundu chooses to fight, and after winning the gold medal and breaking the most unbreakable of world records, the long jump, he protests on the floor of the Olympic stadium in one of the most unforgettable moments in Olympic history. The scene on the floor of the Olympic stadium includes the other young athletes rallying to protect him from the clutches of the police.
Along the way he is assisted by his mentor, the shaman of his village, and the goddess of the inland waters, who chose him at birth and reappears throughout the story, sometimes taking the form of the Catholic madonna figure of Brazil, Nossa Senhora Apparecida, or the Candomble (African religion transplanted to Brazil) goddess Iemanja, goddess of the sea.
He also is assisted by other young people fighting for their future, including the daughter of the scientist who discovered him (his love interest), a young Brazilian billionaire businessman, and a hotshot, tech savvy PR/social media specialist working for the power company.
Images that come to mind include: hydroelectric dams, rivers, the Amazon rainforest, the Olympic rings, the famous Maracana stadium in Rio which will host some of the Olympic events, Rio's soaring granite rock outcroppings, the famous Rio statue of Cristo Redentor atop a mountain overlooking the city.
It's a political story disguised as a sports story - a story that delivers a message of hope that the young people of the world will take action to save their future.
The metaphor of the book is the leap - the boy's great leap represents the leap forward that all humanity must take to overcome the challengers of climate change and destruction of the Earth's natural life support systems.
There is also a scene in which the goddess comes to him in a dream in which she saves him from a raging flood and restores the earth to harmony, which gives him hope and inspires him to take action against all odds and the power of the system.
I'm sorry i can't give you any more specific ideas to work with, but I will make myself available to give feedback on whatever you come up with.