Global Education

2016 Olympics to take place in Rio

By Adam Goldstein
Published: October 2009

Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 summer Olympics was shot down on October 3 despite great efforts by many, including President Barack Obama. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil was elected the host city, the first South American city to host the Olympics.

The two other candidates, along with Rio and Chicago, were Madrid and Tokyo. In the days leading up to the vote, Chicago and Rio were said to be the top two candidates.

Then, surprisingly, Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting. There were four rounds of voting to select a city; the city with the least votes in each round was eliminated.

It came down to Madrid and Rio, and Rio received more than double the votes of Madrid.

The loss for Chicago was devastating. Over $50 million was spent over four years to enhance Chicago’s bid.

Additionally, because Obama spoke to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to aid Chicago’s case, no one believed Chicago’s bid could have been better, and the city was sure to host the event .

Many blamed the relationship between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the IOC.

“It was a defeat for the USOC, not for Chicago, IOC member Denis Oswald said.

The city expected to win. Thousands had gathered in downtown Chicago for a victory rally.

“I think probably the world is still not real keen on America, expectant Chicago citizen Marshall Burt said.

Others had more insidious explanation for the events. “I think there were a lot of people saying, if we don’t get it, we’ll support you, but we’ve got to stop Chicago, IOC member from Canada Richard Pound said.

Rio also had a very strong bid. The fact that the Olympics had never been held in South America was a strong point in their favor.

But Chicago had unique features in its favor as well, including a subway highway system made to transport millions of people every year, an element Rio does not have.

“Today is the most emotional¦[and] most exciting day in my life, President Luiz Incio Lula da Sliva of Brazil said.

“Ive never felt more pride in Brazil¦ We aren’t the United States, but we are getting there, and we will get there, he said.

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