2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event to be celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The host city of the Games will be Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as announced at the 121st IOC Session (which is also the 13th Olympic Congress) held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 2, 2009. They are scheduled to be held from August 5 to 21, 2016.

The 2016 Summer Paralympics will be held in the same city and organized by the same committee, and are scheduled to be held from September 7 to 18. The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be the first edition held in South America, the second in Latin America (after Mexico City), the third edition held in the southern hemisphere (the first of which outside of Australia), and the first Games in a lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country.

The bidding process for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games was officially launched on May 16, 2007. The first step for each city was to submit an initial application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by September 13, 2007, confirming their intention to bid. Completed official bid files, containing answers to a 25-question IOC form, were to be submitted by each applicant city by January 14, 2008.

Four candidate cities were chosen for the shortlist on June 4, 2008: Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo (which hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics). The IOC did not promote Doha to the Candidature phase, despite scoring higher than selected candidate city Rio de Janeiro, due to their intent of hosting the Olympics in October, outside of the IOC’s sporting calendar. Prague and Baku also failed to make the cut.

Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco headed the 10 member Evaluation Commission, having also chaired the evaluation commission for the 2012 Summer Olympics bids. The commission made on-site inspections in the second quarter of 2009. They issued a comprehensive technical appraisal for IOC members on September 2, one month before elections.

There are many restrictions barring the bidding cities from communicating with or influencing directly the 115 voting members. Cities cannot invite any IOC members to visit them and they cannot send them anything that can be construed as a gift. However, bidding cities invest large sums in their PR and media programs in an attempt to indirectly influence the IOC members by garnering domestic support, support from sports media and general international media.

Jon Tibbs, a consultant on the Tokyo bid, was recently quoted as saying “Ultimately, you are communicating with just 115 people and each one has influencers and pressure groups but you are still speaking to no more than about 1,500 people, perhaps 5,000 in the broadest sense. It is not just about getting ads out there but it is about a targeted and very carefully planned campaign.”

The final voting was held on October 2, 2009, in Copenhagen with Chicago and Rio de Janeiro perceived as favorites to land the games. Chicago and Tokyo were eliminated after the first and second rounds of voting, respectively, while Rio de Janeiro took a significant lead over Madrid heading into the final round. The lead held and Rio de Janeiro was announced as host, becoming the first city in South America to host an Olympic games.

The 2016 Summer Olympic program is scheduled to feature 28 sports and a total of 38 disciplines. There were two open spots for sports and initially seven sports began the bidding for inclusion in the 2016 program. Baseball andsoftball, which were dropped from the program in 2005, karate, squash, golf, wake boarding, roller sports, and rugby union all applied to be included. Leaders of the seven sports held presentations in front of the IOC executive board in June 2009.

In August, the executive board initially gave its approval to rugby sevens—a seven-man version of rugby union—by a majority vote, thus removing baseball, roller sports, and squash from contention. Among the remaining three—golf, karate, and softball—the board approved golf as a result of consultation. A decision regarding the remaining two sports was made on October 9, 2009, the final day of the 121st IOC Session at which Rio de Janeiro was named as host. A new system was in place at this Session; a sport now needs only a simple majority from the full IOC for approval rather than the two-thirds majority previously required.

On October 9, 2009 the IOC voted to include rugby sevens and golf on the program for the Games in Rio. The other 26 sports were also confirmed with a large majority of the votes. International Golf Federation executive director Antony Scanlon told Olympic news outlet Around the Rings that the top players, including Tiger Woods and Annika Sörenstam, would show their continued support of golf’s Olympic involvement by participating in the events.

In August 2011, President of the 2016 Olympic Committee, Carlos Nuzman, backed Sepp Blatter’s request for including beach soccer in the 2016 games.

In May 2012, the International Sailing Federation announced that windsurfing would be removed from the 2016 Olympic sailing programme and replaced by kiteboarding.