Chicago and Toyko have been eliminated in the first round of bidding to host the 2016 Olympics. In one of the most fiercely-fought campaigns in Olympic history, anticipation has reached fever pitch ahead of tonight annoucement whether Rio or Madrid will win the bid.
For an exclusive report live from the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen visit www.worldsportdestinationexpo.com from 17:30 GMT this evening when Olympic President Jacques Rogge will unveil the winning bid.
As the final presentations from Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro continue, political maneuvering and last-minute lobbying is intensifying the competition between the final two candidate cities.
(Pictured: Chicago 2016 Chairman & CEO, Patrick G. Ryan, and WSDE Sales & Marketing Director, Chris Frost)
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe earlier said: “Any one of these four cities could deliver a great Olympics - this is probably the highest quality contest there has been.”
Barack Obama’s surprise arrival in Copenhagen had bolstered Chicago’s hopes. The US President had been campaigning hard for the votes to swing towards his hometown of Chicago, saying the U.S. “is ready and eager to assume that sacred trust”.
It was the first time an American president has made such an in-person appeal.
The U.S. President and his wife, fellow Chicagoan Michelle Obama, and talkshow superstar Oprah Winfrey, put their capital behind an enormous campaign to win the Olympics bid.
“I urge you to choose Chicago,” Obama told members of the International Olympic Committee.
“And if you do - if we walk this path together - then I promise you this: The city of Chicago and the United States of America will make the world proud,” the President said.
Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo have been making their cases to the IOC for more than a year, but many IOC members were thought to be undecided about which city they will vote for later this afternoon.
World Sport Destination Expo Director Chris Frost said: “The atmosphere here in Copenhagen is electric and the stakes have never been higher. It is probably the closely fought competition in recent Olympic history and it could all be decided by today’s vital final presentations.”
Visit www.worldsportdestinationexpo.com live from 17:30 GMT today to follow the live unveiling.