COPENHAGEN, Denmark, October 2. AFTER a dramatic day that featured a surprising ousting of Chicago in the first round of voting, Rio de Janeiro earned hosting duties for the 2016 Olympic Games as announced by the International Olympic Committee today in Denmark.
The final two cites of Rio de Janeiro and Madrid each had an ace of its sleeves. Rio built its bid on the fact that South America had never hosted an Olympics. The Olympic movement has always promoted itself as comprising representatives from all corners of the globe coming together under a single Olympism banner. The fact that the Olympics have yet to plant its flag in an entire continent must have been a big part of Rio's success.
From a purely swimming standpoint, we are assured of no morning finals conversation for the 2016 Olympics since Rio is in a similar time zone to the droves of fans watching NBC in the U.S.
Madrid, meanwhile, had former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch pushing for Madrid to win the 2016 Olympics hosting duties. Having an honorary lifetime president of the IOC making a pitch for the city definitely made a huge impact on the final voting. However, having two straight summer Olympics on the same continent with London hosting in 2012 likely swayed voters towards Rio.
Tokyo fell out during the second round of voting despite an aggressive media campaign that included most of its past Olympians continually supporting its bid.
Even President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey could not move Chicago past the issues the city faced in the final four round. In the past week, media outlets around the world continued to state that Chicago had too much crime and not enough of a desire from its populace to play host to the 2016 Olympics. In the end, Chicago fell out in the first round of voting.