Rio's population celebrates 2016 Olympics

11:52, October 03, 2009      

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Rio de Janeiro's population gathered on Friday afternoon at world-famous Copacabana Beach to celebrate the election of the city to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The city's government organized a huge event at the world-famous beach, with the presence of local music stars and also of Olympic athletes. A large screen was set up so that the population could watch the announcement of the host city live.

According to the authorities, at least 15,000 people watched the election at Copacabana Beach; after the announcement, the number of people gathered at the beach increased even more. Many people were dressed in green and yellow, Brazil's colors; a 2,500 square meters-sized poster with the words "Rio loves you" could be seen from above.

In Rio's downtown, people stopped to watch the election in the streets, and celebrated together when the winner was announced. The public schools suspended classes so the over two million students could cheer for the city.

In Copenhagen, where the election took place, the Brazilian delegation also celebrated. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stressed that Rio deserved to host the Olympics, and said that "it was a victory of 190 million souls", referring to his country's population.

"If I died right now, it would have been worth it," the President said.

It was the third time Rio made a bid to host the Olympic Games: the first was to host 2004 Games, which took place in Athens, Greece, and the second to host the 2012 Games, which will occur in London, England.

In the election, Rio faced Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago. The U.S. city was the first to be eliminated, followed by Tokyo; most of two cities' voters then turned their attentions to Rio, which beat Madrid for 66 votes to 32 in the end.

Source: Xinhua
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