THE WORLDPOST
12/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rio Olympics: World Reactions

Today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, celebrations were held as the city was granted the right to host the 2016 Olympics - the first city in South America to host the games.

"The world has recognised that the time has come for Brazil," said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, according to BBC News.

Reactions varied across the international community. The Times of London called the Chicago proposal's failure a "humiliating defeat" for Barack Obama.

In Madrid, a fiesta atmosphere was quickly silenced after the city lost its second consecutive bid for the games. "It's a disappointment for us," the Spanish Queen Sofia was quoted in The Daily Telegraph.

Perhaps the best reaction came in Tokyo, where AFP reported that Japan's "most famous wrestling family" made a show outside the auditorium where the decision was announced. "We will have 2020", said Heigo "Animal" Hamaguchi as he slammed the door to the venue. He was with his daughter, Kyoko, a five-time world wrestling champion. AFP reported their exchange:

"You don't keep on winning in your life. Sometimes you lose but you come back!," the father said. "Right, Kyoko?"

To which his daughter answered, "Yes."

Many had felt that the Rio's slums and high crime rates might have hindered it's chances, according to Reuters.

The Guardian noted that Rio's governors are planning an $11bn injection into the country to make it Olympic-worthy. However, many hope the games will bring more lasting changes to the country than the 2007 Pan American Games.

"Rio has many poor areas, hundreds of favelas, and we had hoped that, after the games, equipment, resources and sports projects would be redirected towards these areas," the Guardian quoted Chico Alencar, a Brazilian MP. "This didn't happen. The games ended and we went straight back to our routine of inequality and neglect."