Cities That Could Beat Chicago

Rio, Madrid, or Tokyo could leave Obamas empty-handed this week
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 7:52 AM CDT
Brazilian soccer legend Pele during a press conference for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 bid team in Copenhagen, Wednesday Sept. 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)
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(Newser) – Barack and Michelle Obama arrive in Denmark tomorrow, hoping to win the 2016 Olympics for their hometown. The Windy City has an impressive bid, proposing events in the city's parks and a lakefront Olympic Village. But three other cities are lobbying hard, and any could get the Games come Friday.

  • Madrid: Spain has valuable experience from the Barcelona Games, and events would take place in Real Madrid's famous soccer stadium. But after London 2012, another European city is a tough sell. And Madrid's 100-degree summers don't help.

  • Rio de Janeiro: One of the world's most beautiful cities, it's one of the most dangerous, too. South America has never hosted the Olympics, and booming Brazil, holding the 2014 World Cup, is the obvious choice. President Lula has wide support, and he'll get Spain's backing if Madrid falls.
  • Tokyo: Its "recession-proof Games" would reuse many of the sites of the 1964 Olympics, and it would turn landfills into waterfront parks. But the IOC is dismayed by lukewarm support among the Japanese.