Rio wins bid to host 2016 Olympic Games

11:47, October 03, 2009      

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Rio de Janeiro of Brazil was chosen on Friday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.


President of International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, President of Rio 2016 Bids Carlos Nuzman and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes (L-R) prepare to sign the host city contract after Rio de Janiero was announced as the host city for the 2016 Olympic games in Copenhagen, capital of Danmark, Oct. 2, 2009. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)

IOC President Jacques Rogge made the announcement after three rounds of votes by nearly more than 90 IOC members.

The Brazilian city won the bid after beating rivals Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid.

Chicago was eliminated in the first round of vote as it got the least number of votes among 94 valid votes.

The American city was expected to have a tight race with Rio by the media here, but ended up the first loser.


Residents celebrate after Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct. 2, 2009. Rio de Janeiro of Brazil was chosen here on Friday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. (Xinhua/Song Weiwei)

Tokyo of Japan was squeezed out in the second round of vote with the least number of ballots among 95 valid votes with one abstention.

As many as 106 IOC members as of September 2009, but nationals of the countries of candidate cities are not allowed to vote unless their candidates are eliminated.

In the first round, Madrid won 28 votes, followed by Rio with 26, Tokyo 20 and Chicago 18. In the second round, Rio was on the top with 46, followed by Madrid with 24, Tokyo 20.

Rio won the campaign in the last round after netting 66 votes against Madrid's 32.


Residents celebrate after Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct. 2, 2009. (Xinhua/Song Weiwei)

The Rio bid team played economy and geography cards in its final presentation to win the bid.

In a passionate speech, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula daSilva told IOC members that his country is experiencing a "magical moment" of economic development.

Silva, known as Lula, made a strong urge to the voters to choose Rio as the host of a Games.

"I ask for your support and vision. Rio is ready. If you give us this chance, you will not regret," he appealed, saying that the Brazilian people were full of "passion, energy and creativity".

He also stressed that Brazil and South America have never hosted an Olympic Games.

"It is time to address this imbalance," he urged. "I honestly believe it is Brazil's time. Among the countries that today compete to host the Games, we are the only one that has never had this honor."

"For others it will be just one more Games," he noted, "For us, it will be an unparallel opportunity."


Residents celebrate after Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct. 2, 2009. (Xinhua/Song Weiwei)

"It will boost the self-esteem of Brazilians" , "consolidate recent achievements" and "inspire new ones".

He said the bid was not only Brazil's, but also South America's, "bid of a continent with almost 400 million men and women and around 180 million youngsters".

After praising the IOC for its contributions in modernizing the Olympic Games, introducing new sports and new technology, Lula said that "the opportunity is to expand the Olympic Games to new continents."

South America and Africa are the two continents that have never hosted an Olympic Games, the largest sports event on earth.

Officials of the Rio team detailed construction plans and public security plans of Rio, assuring the voters that the fast developing economy and ensured safety would guarantee a successful Olympic Games.

Brazil has gone all out to win the bid, mobilizing sports stars such as football legend Pele, and famed sports officials, such as FIFA's Honorary President Joao Havelange.

Havelange called IOC members for support to Rio, welcoming them to go to Rio in 2016 to celebrate his 100th birthday.

The reason for Madrid to last to the third voting round lied mainly in former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch's emotional appealing.

He asked the 100-plus IOC members at the end of Madrid's final presentation to consider his age and give the chance to Madrid to host the 2016 Games.

"Dear colleagues, I know that I am very near the end on my time. I am, as you know, 89 years old," he said peacefully.

"May I ask you to consider granting my country the honor and also the duty to organize the games and Paralympics in 2016."

Source: Xinhua
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