In a stinging rebuke to U.S. President Barack Obama, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday rejected Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 games.
A year ago, Obama predicted that Chicago would win the games.
As it turned out, Chicago was voted “off the Olympic island” in the first round, with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil prevailing on the final ballot over Madrid, Spain by a two-to-one margin.
Both President Obama and his wife, Chicago native Michelle Obama, flew to Copenhagen, Denmark to directly lobby the IOC on behalf of Chicago’s bid. Prior to the vote, the “Windy City” was widely regarded as a front-runner to win the games, along with Tokyo, which was eliminated in the second round.
“I saw him everywhere,” Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said of Obama’s lobbying might. “I thought we had lost, we had lost because … Obama came.”
“You can play a great game and still not win,” Obama said after returning to the White House Friday from Copenhagen.