Dignitaries and representatives from four countries, US, Spain, Brazil and Japan were galore in the Bella Center Convention Center, Copenhagen, Denmark; eagerly awaiting the announcement of Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Association at 1830 hours as to who would host the 2016 Summer Olympics; Bella center was buzzing with activities; the final process of selecting the venue through voting by the 97 members out of 106 members of IOC, was on for the four candidate cities, Chicago, US, Madrid, Spain, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and Tokyo, Japan. The center witnessed hectic parleys and diplomatic activities to woo the members to vote for their country.

Each of the four countries had its own motives and ambitions seeking its bid to host the Summer Olympics of 2016.While US under the leadership of its President Obama, tried its best to win the bid for Chicago, who led his country’s delegation all the way from US to Denmark and by making his brief speech for eight minutes before the IOC members. The underlying motive was to do something for the ailing economy.

The delegation from Spain was led by its King, the Mayor of Madrid Alberto Ruiz Gallardin and the Octogenarian Honorary life member of IOC, Mr. Samaranch, to bat for Madrid.

The delegation from Brazil was led by its President Lula along with other eminent sport persons including the football legend Pele.

The delegation from Japan was led by the Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama and the Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishiharo and a number of former Olympic Champions.

Yardsticks for selection of a candidate city as host:

IOC members before launching the final bidding process prepares an evaluation report about each candidate city whose country has applied for the bid. The criteria for evaluating a country are based on the following factors:-

1) The Government support,

2) The legal issues and the public opinion,

3)General Infrastructure,

4) sport venues,

5) Olympic village,

6) environment condition and its impact,

7) accommodation,

8) Transport concept,

9) safety and security,

10) experience from past sport events and

11) finance.

On the basis of the above mentioned criteria, the list of candidate cities was short listed from 7 to 4.

The Bidding Process:

Though the final selection of venue might have been slated to 2, October, 2009, the method of selecting the host from amongst the candidate cities was a lengthy process.

The International Olympic Committee launched the bidding process for 2016 Olympics on May, 16, 2007.All member countries of the IOC were called for to apply for the bid.

On September, 14,2007, IOC announced a list of 7 candidate cities, Baku, Azerbaijan, Doha, Qatar, Madrid, Spain, Prague, the Czechoslovakia, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Tokyo, Japan.

By preparing an evaluation report, on the basis of the criteria mentioned above, IOC eliminated Baku, Doha and Prague on June 5, 2008.The evaluation report was released on September, 2, 2009 and the final date of the bid was fixed on October, 2, 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark,

On the bidding day, only 97 members out of 106 members of IOC had to elect the host through voting from the candidate cities.

Voting by IOC members:

In the voting process, members of IOC, whose country had applied for the bid, are not eligible to vote. A candidate city which secures 50 + vote will be elected as a host. If no candidate city secures 50 + votes, the candidate city which has secured the least number of votes will be eliminated. Then again there will be a second round of voting. In the second round of voting, if no candidate secures 50 + votes, the candidate who secures the least number of votes will be eliminated; in the third and final round of election, the candidate city which secures 50+ votes or highest number of votes will be declared a winner.

However, before the voting process and the final decision is taken, each city will make a 45 minute presentation followed by a 15 minute session for questioning. Accordingly, US made its presentation at 0845 hours, Japan at 1030 hours, Brazil at 1200 hours followed by Spain at 1450 hours.When the presentation and questioning session was over, it was followed by the election by secret voting by IOC members.

In the election held, in the first round Madrid scored 28 votes, Rio scored 26, Tokyo 22 and US 18;having secured the least number of votes, US had to make its exit after the first round.

In the second round of election, Rio secured 46 votes, Madrid 29 and Tokyo 20. Hence, Japan had to make its exit, after the second round was over. Since, no candidate city had secured more than 50 + votes in the second round of voting, a third and final round of voting was necessitated.

In the third round of voting, the contest was narrowed between Brazil and Spain, in which Brazil scored 66 votes and Spain scored only 32 votes; thereby Rio De Janeiro became the winner candidate.

The Historic Announcement:

On 2, October,2009;1830 hours; The IOC President, Jacques Rogge made the historic announcement that Rio De Janeiro would host the summer Olympics of 2016, creating a sensation across the world and making the people of Brazil ecstatic.For the first time in the history of Olympics, Rio De Janeiro, a city of Brazil, a South American country has been chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Factors that might have acted against the election of Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo:-

Despite US making its bid sincerely and a towering personality like President Obama making his presence at Copenhagen before the IOC members and making a speech; despite having other credentials like the infrastructure as well as the previous experience of holding such events etc were not lacking; still US could not win over the IOC members in its favor because: US had already hosted a number of Olympic games the most recent being the 1996 At Lanta Olympics. However, US has one consolation: the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games, 2010, is being held in Vancouver, Canada. Spain already had the honor of holding Olympic Games in Barcelona, in the year 1992, most recently; Similarly Japan had already hosted Olympic games in the year 1964. These factors might have considerably influenced IOC members in not voting in their favor.

Factors that tilted the balance in favor of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil :

The most clinching factor that tilted the balance in favor of Rio De Janeiro was that no South American country was ever awarded a chance to host Olympic Games and Brazil was bidding for the first time to host Summer Olympics. However, Brazil was not lagging behind in other positive factors. The city of Rio De Janeiro had budgeted $ 14.4 billions to the effort, the largest amount than any of the four finalists, according to the IOC reports. It shows the growing and fast recovering economy of Brazil under the dynamic leadership of its President Lula. Brazil also had the honor of holding Pan American Games most recently in the year, 2007.Brazil’s bidding process began as early as July, 28, 2006 and the bid was recognized by IOC on September 14, 2007. And above all, the city of Rio De Janeiro was fully equipped to hold all the events of Olympics except soccer.

Having clinched the bid for 2016 Summer Olympics for Rio De Janeiro,no doubt the people of Brazil are in a happy mood and brimming with confidence. It is most befitting to conclude in the words of President Lula who tearfully uttered these words: