Congratulations to a new city, a new country and, in fact, to a new continent for the Olympic Games. The five Olympic rings make more sense now.
In recent years, the International Olympic Committee has expressed the need to represent all its constituencies, to move its quadrennial festivals around the world.
The I.O.C. has put its money where its press releases have been. On Friday it voted to put the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, thereby putting the Olympics in South America for the first time in what will be the 120th year of the modern Olympic movement.
In the cosmic scheme of things, it was the absolute right thing to do, even though three other great world cities made compelling bids — Chicago, eliminated first, Tokyo eliminated second, and Madrid. Any of them would have been terrific, but Rio made the most sense in the spirit of the Games, often expressed, not always observed by the Eurocentric burghers who dominate the I.O.C., New York Times informs.
According to Chicago Tribune, Mayor Richard Daley took one grand shot at landing the Olympics, devoting more than three years to an effort that involved thousands of volunteers and more than $72 million in donations, but in the end Chicago was done in by a combination of Rio de Janeiro's more compelling story line and the quirky politics of Olympic voting.
Despite an appearance by President Barack Obama at the final presentations Friday, Chicago's candidacy landed with a thud. The city was ousted in the first round of voting for the 2016 Games, rejected before the mayor's car could even arrive back at the convention center to witness the drama of the International Olympic Committee vote. He had the car turned around and headed straight to a suddenly deflated Chicago backers' party.
"It is Brazil's time." "From the bottom of my heart I can say that this is the most exciting day of my life. I feel much more proud to be Brazilian," Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said, The Associated Press reports.