Chicago, Rio, Madrid and Tokyo hold breath as IOC picks host city
Issued on: Modified:
Who will host the Olympic Games in 2016 – Chicago, Rio, Madrid, or Tokyo? As the IOC prepares to announce a victor in Copenhagen on Friday, FRANCE 24 takes a look at each of the bids.
Update October 2: Rio wins
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.
The Chicago native 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."
Budget: US $4.8 billion
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; and, of course, 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 votes 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.
Budget: US $14.4 billion
Pros: Rio's vibrant, youthful image; a breathtaking landscape, sunshine aplenty and the ocean; an environmental project dubbed Carbone Zero Rio to plant trees and reduce carbon emissions.
Cons: Safety issues and traffic congestion; Brazil having already won the battle to host the football World Cup in 2014, 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.
Budget: $4.4 billion
Pros: Without a doubt the most ambitious project when it comes to environmental protection; a sleek and highly efficient transport system ensures athletes and visitors will get around easily.
Cons: The Japanese couldn't care less who gets it.
Madrid – Looking bleak
Madrid is not exactly the frontrunner in this bid. Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has had to lobby King Juan Carlos to get him behind the cause.
Budget: $5.6 billion
Pros: An innovative plan for the Olympic stadium; 70% of infrastructure exists already.
Cons: It’s far from the water, compared to the other candidate cities; Europe will already be hosting the 2012 Olympics in London.
Source for budget figures: AP/ NBC Universal Sports