Despite a massive campaign and a heartfelt appeal from President Barack Obama himself, there will be no 2016 Chicago Olympics. Instead, the International Olympic Committee vote has awarded the 2016 Olympic Summer Games to Rio de Janeiro.
â€œTo host athletes and visitors from every corner of the globe is a high honor and a great responsibility,â€ President Obama told the IOC in a plea for them to vote Chicago as the 2016 Summer Olympics host city. â€œAnd America is ready and eager to assume that sacred trust.â€
Although Chicago was considered a frontrunner for the 2016 Summer Games, the city was eliminated in the first round of the IOC vote while Tokyo was eliminated in the second round, leaving the final decision between Rio de Janeiro and Madrid. The final vote was announced Friday morning as 32 votes for Madrid and 66 for Rio.
“I honestly believe it is Brazil’s time,” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the IOC voters. “For the others it will be just one more Games. For us it will be an unparalleled opportunity.”
Tens of thousands celebrated in Rio after the announcement was made by IOC president Jacques Rogge. In Chicago, bid leaders are now faced with the stark realization the city spent more than $50 million on a failed Olympic bid.