October 2, 2009

Rio wins 2016 Summer Olympics

The International Olympic Committee meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday chose Rio de Janeiro as the host site for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Jubilant cheering erupted at a rally on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, which will be the site of the 32nd Summer Olympics, the first ever held in South America.

The Brazilian city and Chicago were regarded as favorites for host city, but Chicago was the first city eliminated from the voting with the fewest supporters, followed by Tokyo.

Thousands of people gathered at Daley Plaza in Chicago let out an audible gasp as the result of the first round of voting was announced.

Tokyo was eliminated in the second round, leaving Rio de Janiero and Madrid as the two finalist cities for the Games.

Chicago was eliminated despite an appearance in Copenhagen Friday by President Barack Obama, who spoke of the city's international character.

To host athletes and visitors from every corner of the globe is a high honor and a great responsibility, Obama told the IOC. We are a nation that has always opened its arms to the citizens of the world -- including my own father -- who have sought something better; who have dreamed of something bigger.

Obama's remarks capped a presentation that included Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and first lady Michelle Obama.