WASHINGTON (CN) – Despite efforts by President Barack Obama, Chicago lost out on its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics which on Friday went instead to soccer and dance-crazy Rio de Janeiro. The selection marks the first time a city in South America will host the event and is in keeping with Brazil’s rise in economic prominence.
Of the four contestants- Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro – Chicago was the first to be thrown out, surprising many.
Insiders of the International Olympic Committee had suggested that Chicago had good chances of winning the bid.
Tokyo was the second to be rejected, followed by Madrid.
Nearly $50 million was invested in promoting Chicago, and even Obama made the trip to Copenhagen, where the selection was made, to sway the committee.
“Chicago, we’ve got everybody. This could be a meeting in Chicago, because we look like the world,” Obama said in a meeting with members of the International Olympic Committee. “One of the legacies of this Olympics Games in Chicago would be a restoration of that understanding of what the United States is all about, and the United States’ recognition of how we are linked to the world.”
First Lady Michelle Obama also participated, giving a speech in Copenhagen before introducing Barack Obama.
New York was thrown out of the second round of voting in its bid to host the 2012 Olympics.