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Obama congratulates Rio winning 2016 Summer Olympics bid

In a truly Olympian sportsman spirit, US President Barack Obama congratulated Rio de Janeiro and the nation of Brazil for winning the 2016 Olympics.

world Updated: Oct 03, 2009 10:18 IST

In a truly Olympian sportsman spirit, US President Barack Obama congratulated Rio de Janeiro and the nation of Brazil for winning the 2016 Olympics.

"I think this is a truly historic event, as these will be the first Olympic Games ever to be held in South America," Obama said on his return from Copenhagen, where he flew overnight to unsuccessfully push for Chicago – his home town – winning the bid for 2016 Summer Olympics on Friday.

"As neighbours in the Americas, as friends to the Brazilian people, we welcome this extraordinary sign of progress, and the fact that the 2016 Games will be in the Americas," Obama said.

"I had a chance to talk to President Lula and gave him hearty congratulations and told him that our athletes will see him on the field of competition in 2016," he said.

On his unsuccessful bid, Obama said he believes that it is always a worthwhile endeavour to promote and boost the US and invite the world to come see America.

"We obviously would have been eager to host these Games, but as I said, this nation and our athletes are still very much excited to compete in 2016.

"We once again want to say how much we are committed to the Olympic spirit, which I think represents some of the best of humanity," Obama said.