Rio Wins 2016 Olympic Games

For the first time ever, the Olympic Games will be held in South America.

Rio de Janeiro has won the bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games in a final International Olympic Committee vote that included Madrid. Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting, followed by Tokyo in the second round.

Rio most recently held the 2007 Pan American Games, which undoubtedly aided its Olympic aspirations. Michael Chambers, Canadian Olympic Committee President, said Rio did an outstanding job two years ago.

“I think the (Olympic) Games in Rio will have the potential to help transform society within Rio and Brazil,” said Chambers. “It’s a city that is emerging in the world, as is the country, and just as the Olympics had a profound impact on society in China, I think they will do the same thing for the city of Rio de Janeiro.”

It is the second most populous city in Brazil, with a population of approximately 6,100,000 people. Its iconic image is the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue that sits on a hill, rising high above the city below. It is also famous for the extraordinary Carnaval, one of the largest festivals in the world.

Situated right on the Tropic of Capricorn, Rio’s winter is from June through August – the period during which the Olympic Games will most likely be held. Its daytime temperatures during these months are an average 20°C.

Madrid would have been the second Spanish city to host the Olympic Games, following Barcelona in 1992.

“It was quite emotional watching Jacques Rogge open the envelope, having gone through this six years ago in Prague with the Vancouver bid,” said Chris Rudge, Canadian Olympic Committee, CEO and Secretary General from Copenhagen. “I certainly was empathetic with the feelings of the people in the room. I think the decision is a good one for the Olympic Movement and sport in the world.”

Tokyo is already an Olympic Host City, site of the 1964 Olympic Games.

Chicago would have been the third U.S. city to host the Olympic Games after Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984 and Atlanta in 1996. The United States has also been the site of four Olympic Winter Games – Lake Placid 1932 and 1980, Squaw Valley 1960 and Salt Lake City 2002.