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Olympic Games 2016

And the winner is...?

Text by: Emmanuel VERSACE
3 min

Who will host the Olympic Games of 2016 – Chicago, Rio, Madrid, or Tokyo? The decision is to be handed down in Copenhagen in Friday. France 24 takes a look at each of the bid cities individually.


Chicago - The Obamas get behind their hometown

Chicago could not have hoped for a better ambassador than Michelle Obama to support the city’s candidacy to host the 2016 Olympic Games. She is heading to Copenhagen on October 2 to make the case in person.

She said via a press release, “"One of the great honors I have as First Lady is to represent America around the world and it is with great pride that I will go to Copenhagen to make the case for the United States to host the 2016 Olympics… There is no doubt in my mind that Chicago would offer the world a fantastic setting for these historic games and I hope that the Olympic torch will have the chance to burn brightly in my hometown."

Pros: The presence of many pre-existing sites. A compact surface area to host the events. An urban development goal to improve conditions in the slums. The support of the Obamas.

Cons: Lack of architectural innovation. Unlike the other candidates, this is not an eco-friendly city.

Rio de Janeiro - France for Brazil

The Brazilian city has the advantage of novelty. If Rio de Janeiro were to win the bid, it would be the first Olympic Games in South America.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has assured his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, that he supports Rio’s bid.

Pros: Rio has a vibrant, youthful image. Breathtaking environment - sun, sand, ocean. An environmental project dubbed Carbone Zero Rio to plant trees and reduce carbon emissions.

Cons: Safety issues and problematic transport within the city. Also, Brazil also already won the bid to host the World Cup in 2014, so it might be argued they have too much on their plate already.

Toyko – Compact and ecological

The new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has made a pet project out of Tokyo’s Olympic bid.

Pros: Their proposal is the most ambitious with regards to environmental protection measures. Their modern transport system ensures that athletes and visitors would be able to get around easily.

Cons: The nation doesn’t care.

Madrid - Looking bleak

Madrid is not exactly the frontrunner in this bid. Head of State José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is going so far as to meet with King Juan Carlos to get him behind the cause.

Pros: The plan for the Olympic stadium is innovative. 70% of the infrastructure exists already.

Cons: It’s far from the ocean, compared to the other candidate cities. And Europe already will be hosting the 2012 Olympics in London.

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