Rio de Janeiro to host 2016 Olympic Games

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rio de Janeiro -Residents of Rio de Janeiro have been celebrating this weekend after the city was elected to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

The announcement was made on Friday in Copenhagen, where the election took place.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva described the city's election as "a victory of 190 million souls", referring to his country's population.

"If I died right now, it would have been worth it," the President said.

It was the third time Rio made a bid to host the Olympic Games. The first was to host the 2004 Games, which took place in Athens, Greece, and the second to host the 2012 Games, which will occur in London, England.

In the election, Rio faced Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago. The United States was the first to be eliminated, followed by Tokyo. Most of these two cities' voters then turned their attentions to Rio, which beat Madrid for 66 votes to 32 in the end.

Almost 15 000 Rio residents gathered at world-famous Copacabana Beach on Friday where the announcement was broadcast live on large screens.

Many people were dressed in green and yellow, Brazil's colours, while a 2 500 square meter poster with the words "Rio loves you" could be seen from above.

Public schools suspended classes so the city's two million students could cheer for the city.

Following the city's election to host the event, a large party began with local music stars and Olympic athletes in attendance.