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Rio make it an Olympic first for South America

Rio de Janeiro's dream of bringing the Olympics to South America South America, fourth largest continent (1991 est. pop. 299,150,000), c.6,880,000 sq mi (17,819,000 sq km), the southern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere.  for the first time became reality here on Friday when they won the vote to host the 2016 edition.

The Brazilian city saw off Madrid - by 66 votes to 32 - in the final round of voting after odds-on favourites Chicago, backed by a personal visit from President Barack Obama, had gone out in a first round sensation.

They were followed by Tokyo, the only city of the four to have previously hosted the Games, in the second round.

"It's unbelievable, overwhelming and spectacular," beamed Rio Governor Sergio Cabral, while Brazilian football legend Pele was reduced to tears.

"I am so happy, so happy, so happy," repeated Pele. "I'm a very emotional guy and I have been crying ever since I heard the result.

"This is a great moment not only for Brazil but for South America. In terms of how it compares to a World Cup this is like another goal."

Henrique Meirelles Henrique de Campos Meirelles (b. August, 31, 1945) is the current president of the Banco Central do Brasil (Brazil's Central Bank). In 2002 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as a member of the party PSDB but resigned to assume in January 2003 his current position. , president of the Brazil Central Bank, said that they had managed to convince the IOC IOC
International Olympic Committee

IOC n abbr (= International Olympic Committee) → COI m

IOC n abbr (=
 that they were sound financially.

"We were optimistic and very well prepared. This has been a lot of hard work but there is a lot more of that over the next seven years. Our economic situation played well."

Madrid bid chief Mercedes Coghen Mercedes Coghen Alberdingk-Thijm (born August 2, 1962 in Madrid) is a former field hockey player from Spain, who was a member of the Women's National Team that surprisingly won the golden medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics on home soil (Barcelona). , captain of the Spain field hockey field hockey: see hockey, field.
field hockey
 or hockey

Game played with curve-ended sticks between two teams of 11 players. It is played on a field 100 yd (91.4 m) by 60 yd (55 m) in size.
 team that won gold in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, accepted a painful defeat.

"I have a very sad reaction," said the 47-year-old, who defied expectations in getting them this far.

"That's the way it has got to be. It was a very good bid."

The International Olympic Committee “IOC” redirects here. For other uses, see IOC (disambiguation).

The International Olympic Committee (French: Comité International Olympique) is an organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas on June 23
 (IOC) members had earlier delivered a stunning snub to favourites Chicago and Obama.

Live Report

In a sensational first round, the 95 eligible voters rejected a personal plea by the most powerful man in the world.

Obama had flown in on Friday morning to appear at the final presentation but even his powerful presence, as well as the lobbying of his wife Michelle, failed to excite the members.

Related article: Playing Olympic politics

"We fought a good fight and I am very proud of the team and the campaign," said bid chief Pat Ryan
For the Chicago executive, see Pat Ryan (executive)

Patrick Ryan (born September 28, 1955 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian curler originally from Edmonton, Alberta. Ryan is a former World Champion skip, and three time Brier champion.
. "Some you win, some you lose. That's the way it goes."

The American city was followed out by Tokyo whose pleas to host the Games for a second time fell on deaf ears.

Rio's appearance in the final two was no surprise as they had consistently impressed in the past year and a stunning piece of oratory by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the presentation sealed their place.

He declared it was not only Brazil's time but also South America's as no country from the continent has previously hosted the Games.

Madrid, bidding to become the first Spanish city to host the Olympics since Barcelona's successful 1992 edition, were seen to be rank outsiders and were as much as 16/1 with British bookmakers Ladbrokes earlier in the week.

Even Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Luis Rodriguez or Luis Rodríguez can refer to different people:
  • Luis Orlando Rodríguez, a baseball player from Venezuela
  • Luis Rodríguez Olmo, a baseball player from Puerto Rico
  • Luis J. Rodríguez, a U.S.
 Zapatero had voiced concerns over the bid but he gave a solid performance at the presentation.

However, the presence of 89-year-old former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch Don Juan Antoni Samaranch i Torelló, Marquis of Samaranch (es: Don Juan Antonio Samaranch i Torelló, marqués de Samaranch) (born July 17, 1920 in Barcelona) is a Spanish sports official and was president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001.  helped secure vital votes.

His plea that 'his days on earth were numbered' struck a chord for many of the members who owed their positions to him during his controversial but highly successful tenure.

The elimination of Chicago and Tokyo set up an intriguing head-to-head between two of the giants of sports administration - Samaranch and former FIFA FIFA International Association Football Federation [French Fédération Internationale de Football Association]

FIFA n abbr (= Fédération Internationale de Football Association) → FIFA f 
 President Joao Havelange, who looking far younger than his 93 years promised to invite people to a massive party in Rio in 2016 when he will be 100.

Interactive graphic on the candidates bidding to host the Olympics as the 2016 Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, city, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro (rē`ō də zhänā`rō, Port. rē` thĭ zhənĕē`r
 after Chicago, the hot favourites, were eliminated despite the backing of US President Barack Obama in Copenhagen.
Copyright 2009 AFP Asian Edition
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Oct 2, 2009
Previous Article:It's Rio or Madrid as Chicago, Obama snubbed for 2016 Games
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