By Doug Gray, Contributing Reporter

Support at the Maracanã in April, photo by Paulo Botelho.
Support at the Maracanã in April, photo by Paulo Botelho.

RIO DE JANEIRO – The race to host the 2016 Olympics is far from over with less than two weeks until the final votes are cast and the result announced in Copenhagen on October 2.

The latest poll by, considered one of the most accurate gauges of how votes are likely to go, places Rio de Janeiro marginally ahead of Chicago, with Tokyo in third place and Madrid well behind in fourth.

President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, has suggested it is an unusually tight race and that the winning margin may be just two or three votes, making Rio’s timely ascension to favorite look all the more crucial.

When the final four candidates were announced, it had been widely considered to be a battle between Chicago and Tokyo. However, with last year’s 2008 Games in Beijing making a return to the Far East unlikely in the near future and President Obama’s aloofness during recent meetings with the IOC damaging the strength of their respective candidacies, Rio’s chances have become considerably greater.

Brazil’s response to the financial crisis and increasing levels of investment in the country have also significantly improved their case over the three other candidate cities, and money predicted to come in from pre-salt oil discoveries should also help enormously.

Also in Rio’s favor is the fact that Jacques Rogge will be stepping down from his position in 2013 after the London Olympics and may want to leave a lasting legacy at the IOC, which giving a first ever Olympic Games to a South American country could provide.

President of the Rio bid Carlos Nuzman, photo by Roosevelt Pinheiro/ABr.
President of the Rio bid Carlos Nuzman, photo by Roosevelt Pinheiro/ABr.’s analysis suggests that Tokyo’s bid has weakened the most, due in part to the 2008 Beijing Olympics but also as a result of its high costs of living, an index in which Rio scores well for its inexpensive transport, commodities and accommodation.

Having not even made the shortlist for the 2012 Olympics it is a testament to how far the Rio team has come this time around, and some impassioned speeches along with the unbridled support of President Lula – banking on a strong legacy when his tenure ends next year – have combined to propel them into the top two.

The city itself remains somewhat divided on whether or not the Games would be a good thing for Rio with some areas of the city also requiring the kind of investment that hosting would require. Many of these concerns have been built into the bid however, and transport and crime issues are two items that the city leaders will have to tackle should the bid prove successful.

All eyes will be on Copenhagen on October 2 when the results are announced.

To watch Rio’s new promotional video for the 2016 bid, check out the official website.

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    I hope we will host it! That means cleaner streets, more transport, improved infrastructure, more jobs, etc, etc, etc!

    You can never underestimate the “Big Event Effect” in this town, which saw huge improvements in infrastructure because of the Pan American Games, World Cup, etc.

    It is sad in a way, that we need to have this events in order to make this city better, our governanment should make these improvements anyway. But such is life!

  2. While I ‘ve yet to actually make up my mind one way or the other in regrads to Rio’s Olympic bid, I did find this article posted on quite interesting:

    “Chicagoans For Rio Explain Their Case”

    “The group has its own website,, where the public is asked to send e-mails to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in support of Rio de Janeiro’s bid for the 2016 Summer Games.

    Hundreds have submitted e-mails to the IOC, and one IOC office sent a response that said, ‘We’ve been bombarded. You’ve made your point’. And really, we haven’t made our point – our fellow Chicagoans have. It’s nice they had a venue to do so’.

    When asked why the group decided to support Rio the spokesperson said, ‘It seems to be the strongest contender. Plus, they have Carnival, so the place is O.K. in our books’.”

  3. It will be quite sad if Chicago is chosen over Rio, and if that happens, it will have been due to the Messiah Obama’s efforts in Copenhagen. The reports of fawning over Obama by the boot licking IOC officials is sickening. With Obama, his wife, and talk show host Oprah all visiting Denmark this week, one would think all Americans are black.

  4. Congratulations RIO……. I am one of many Americans that prayed you’d be the winner. As I see it, Chicago, Oprah, Obammas’, and others in the Chicago elite, it was only about/for them, not as a country as a whole. This country doesn’t deserve hosting the summer Olympics, especially in Chicago. And I’m also glad to see the elitist/USA came in last.
    I know you will do a great job in representing the Summer Olympics.

    Glen Thomas Wisconsin, USA

  5. Not to worry mein fuhrer Kris. Your conspiracy theories have been consigned to ……..conspiracy. But however, I’m over the moon for Rio to receive the games. I just hope that this golden opportunity that they’ve been given is grabbed with both hands and not used as another vehicle for the rich classes to get EVEN richer.

  6. No news yet on this site about Rio’s winning 2016 Olympics bid. The staff must be taking the weekend off to party in the streets!


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