It was a close battle between Madrid and Rio de Janeiro as the final vote neared, but the International Olympic Committee announced today that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. In spite of in-person appeals by President Obama, his wife Michelle and Oprah Winfrey on behalf of Chicago, the Windy City and Tokyo were eliminated from contention in an earlier round of voting.
This selection marks the first time a South American country will host an Olympics games. Rio has budgeted a remarkable $14.4 billion for their event, the largest amount of any of the four finalists, according to IOC figures.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was in Copenhagen, Denmark—where the vote took place—to hear the good news, along with Brazilian soccer legend Pele.