Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rio de Janeiro Will Host the 2016 Olympic Games

Historic decision announced by the International Olympic Committee on Friday, June 2, Denmark; Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The historic decision to take the biggest sporting competition in the world to South America was announced by the International Olympic Committee on Friday, 2 October, during its 121st Assembly, held in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the contest, considered the most competitive ever, Rio beat Chicago (United States), Madrid (Spain) and Tokyo (Japan).

Rio de Janeiro's victory of was conclusive: 66 to 32 votes in the final round against Madrid. Chicago was eliminated in the first round with 18 votes (against 28 for Madrid, 26 for Rio and 22 for Tokyo). The Japanese candidate was the second to be eliminated from the contest with 20 votes (against 46 for Rio and 29 for Madrid). The president of Rio 2016, Carlos Arthur Nuzman thanked the representatives of the three levels of government - President Lula, Governor Sergio Cabral and Mayor Eduardo Paes. "The IOC has made a historic decision. I have much to thank. I'm proud of the representatives of the three levels of government. I am delighted to see how they understood what these Olympic Games represent for Rio and Brazil," said Nuzman.

IOC President Jacques Rogge praised the four finalists and congratulated Rio de Janeiro. "To choose from four great cities is very difficult. I want to congratulate Rio de Janeiro. The choice delivers a clear message. It is important to take the Games to South America for the first time," said Rogge.

The historic decision left President Lula in tears. And the emotion of the president stirred those who attended the post-election conference. "I cried at the press conference because I didn't dare to cry during the presentation. I have been through so much, met so many people and, suddenly, I was the most emotional. Human beings need challenges and Brazil needed these Olympic Games. We just needed an opportunity to show that we are a great nation. Today is one of the most exciting days of my life. I feel even more proud to be Brazilian. Rio deserves it. Brazil deserves it. The Brazilian people deserve it," said Lula.

Before the vote, the Rio de Janeiro team inspired IOC members in their final presentation. Brazilian passion for sport and the joy with which cariocas receive visitors from around the world was put across in music, videos and stirring speeches. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of the Central Bank, Henrique Meirelles, Governor Sergio Cabral, Mayor Eduardo Paes, former FIFA president and deacon member of the IOC, Joao Havelange, Rio 2016 President, Carlos Arthur Nuzman; Rio 2016 Secretary General Carlos Roberto Osório, yachtswoman Isabel Swan all reinforced the pillars of the Rio 2016 Games: technical excellence, ability to transform the city and country, adding value to the Olympic Movement and to provide a unique experience for all involved.

The Rio 2016 Games will be the Olympics of celebration and transformation. The event will take full advantage of the city's natural beauty, experience in large events and of Rio's ability to put on a party that will thrill the world. In addition to the legacies of sports facilities and the volunteer program, the Rio 2016 project proposes initiatives to develop sport in Brazil, South America and the world. For the Olympic Paralympic Movement, it will be a gateway to a new and young continent, with 400 million inhabitants. "This decision puts Rio de Janeiro in the place it deserves, a global city, which will delight people from all over the world. It was a historic decision and we will deliver what the IOC wants: Games with emotion, passion and celebration. The Olympic Movement has decided to target the future, focusing on youth," said Carlos Roberto Osorio, secretary general of Rio 2016.

The Rio 2016 Games will be a compact event with technical excellence. Sports, culture and education will be integrated with the activities of the city. Social and sporting legacies are guaranteed by working together with the three levels of government. The Rio 2016 Games will be a catalyst for progress in social and sporting communities in Brazil and around the world.

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