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By Jaylan Boyle, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO - The cheer wasn't quite what it could have been when it was announced to the expectant masses on Copacabana Beach that Chicago had been knocked out of the running. Maybe the feeling was that, if Obama's adopted city and supposed front-runner could bow out in just the first round of voting, then anything could happen. Even a Madrid victory seemed possible, an eventuality that even the Iberian faithful probably had not been banking on twelve hours earlier.

Speculation following Chicago's exit jumped across the sand like confused static . . .

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