Nearly 50,000 people erupted in celebration when Rio de Janeiro was announced host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games Friday, jumping and cheering in a Carnival-like party on Copacabana beach, reports The Associated Press.
When International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said the words “Rio de Janeiro” to announce the winner of the 2016 Games, a huge roar was heard and the Cariocas, as Rio citizens are known, raised their arms to commemorate on Copacabana, frantically waving flags and hugging each other.
The Associated Press reports the party was expected to go on well into the night, and officials said the crowd would easily surpass 100,000 people.
There was also dancing to the samba as confetti was launched into the air in front of a massive stage set up for the victory celebration. A banner half the size of a soccer field – where Rio’s logo, an image of the Christ the Redeemer statue and the words “Rio Loves You” – was displayed.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge congratulated Rio on its election and praised the high quality of the bid. He said, “Rio de Janeiro presented the IOC with a very strong technical bid built upon a vision of the Games being a celebration of the athletes and sport, as well as providing the opportunity for the city, region and country to deliver their broader long-term aspirations for the future”.
United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chairman Larry Probst and Acting CEO Stephanie Streeter issued a statement congratulating Rio saying they look forward to bringing “our athletes and delegation to Brazil in 2016”.
In a statement Tokyo 2016 also congratulated Rio’s bid committee. Governor Ishihara said, “I would like to wish Rio de Janeiro every success for the 2016 Games and congratulate the bid team after running a fine campaign”. He added, “each city’s bid was exceptional, but I believe that Rio will stage an excellent Games”.
Rio’s success was also congratulated by the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Bid Committee. David Peterson, Chair of Toronto 2015 said, “Rio de Janeiro will present athletes and the world with an unforgettable experience in 2016”.