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Rio de Janeiro to host 2016 Summer Games

Tim Lemke and Matthew Mosk The Washington Times 02.10.2009 22:18
Brazilians celebrate at Copacabana beach after the announcement that Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Brazilians celebrate at Copacabana beach after the announcement that Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.


Chicago's dreams of Olympic glory were shattered Friday afternoon, as Rio de Janeiro was granted the rights to host the 2016 Summer Games, disappointing President Obama and marking the first time the global sports spectacle will be held in South America.



Just hours after an impassioned, personal plea from Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave Chicago the fewest votes in the first round of voting during its session in Copenhagen. Supporters who believed the president's adopted hometown was one of the favorites to win were stunned.

Rio de Janeiro easily bested Madrid 66-32 in the final round of IOC voting to win the rights to host the games. Tokyo placed third and Chicago last among the four finalists.

IOC members were apparently moved by the pitch from Brazilian officials, who urged the committee to award the games to a South American city for the first time. At one point, bid representatives displayed a map showing where previous Olympics have been held, pointing to numerous times in which the games took place in Europe and the United States.

"Rio is a suffered city," said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who wept openly after learning of the IOC's decision. "For a long time Rio only showed up in the newspapers only showing crimes. We want Rio to show up in the headlines, but the sports headlines showing good news of the good things we are doing."


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