COPENHAGEN — Rio de Janeiro or Madrid — one of them will host the 2016 Olympics.
Chicago is out — in one of the most shocking defeats ever handed down by the International Olympic Committee. President Barack Obama’s appeals for his adopted hometown fell on deaf ears Friday.
Tokyo was knocked out in the second round, surviving one round longer than Chicago.
That left just Rio and Madrid still in the mix. The IOC voted again to separate the two and elected a winner, which will be announced by IOC president Jacques Rogge later Friday.
Madrid’s surprising success in reaching the final round came after former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch made an unusual appeal for the Spanish capital, reminding the IOC members as he asked for their vote that, at age 89, “I am very near the end of my time.”
Chicago had long been seen as a front-runner and got the highest possible level of support — from Obama himself. But he also only spent a few hours in the Danish capital where the vote was held and left before the result was announced. Former IOC member Kai Holm said that the brevity of his appearance may have counted against him.
The short stopover was “too business-like,” Holm said. “It can be that some IOC members see it as a lack of respect.”…Read More