Rio de Janeiro is the official host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to an October 2 vote by the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A secret, electronic ballot cemented the IOC’s decision, which followed presentations by all four candidate cities earlier in the day. Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid were the other candidates to host the 2016 games.
The voting process is eliminatory. In each round of voting, the one city with the least number of votes is eliminated until a city wins an outright majority or until a single city remains.
In a shocking turn of events, Chicago was the first candidate city eliminated from the running. The Windy City was the favorite to win the 2016 bid, and President Obama made a special visit to Copenhagen for the express purpose of recommending the city as an Olympic host.
Despite being favored to host, residents of the U.S. city increasingly opposed its Olympic bid. According to a report from the Associated Press, only 47 percent of Chicagoans were for the bid, while 45 percent were against it. That’s a dramatic decrease of support since the Olympic Committee’s last poll, which showed support within Chicago at 72 percent.
Tokyo was the second city eliminated, leaving Madrid and Rio in the running.
Going into the IOC Session, Madrid was a bit of a dark horse candidate, but made a strong appeal during its allotted presentation time, punctuating the appeal with “We Believe.” However, the Brazilian capital of Rio was an early frontrunner, and its election makes it the first ever South American city to host the Olympics.
With its position secured, Rio de Janeiro will have to tackle complex issues of ticketing as it looks forward to the 2016 games.
Early on, ticket fraud was rampant at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, despite strict regulations within China against ticket resale and the use of microchips in the tickets to increase security.
Meanwhile, Vancouver, which is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, has also taken a strict stance against scalping, even planning to employ fake shoppers to catch scalpers. Ticket sales for Vancouver begin this month, with the actual games slated for February 2010.