COPENHAGEN, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee meets on Friday in the Danish capital to select the host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games from four candidate cities — Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
HOW DO THE CITIES TRY TO IMPRESS THE IOC AND WIN THE BID?
Each candidate city gets 45 minutes to present to the IOC, plus 15 minutes for questions and answers at the end. The presentation usually includes videos and speeches from leading politicians, sports personalities or cultural figures. Chicago has been drawn to make the first presentation at 0645 GMT and will be followed by Tokyo, Rio and finally Madrid.
Since then British Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded the IOC to choose London ahead of favourites Paris for the 2012 Summer Games four years ago in Singapore, the significance of a charismatic political figure has been seen as paramount by bid cities. Two years ago then Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke surprisingly eloquently in English to the IOC and helped win the 2014 Winter Games for Sochi, another surprise. This is why Chicago have played what they hope to be the trump card of U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. Madrid have King Juan Carlos of Spain and Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Rio have put up President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Tokyo will parade newly elected Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
The entire IOC membership, with certain exclusions, is allowed to vote. Around 115 members are expected to be in Copenhagen. Many of them are people with experience in sports administration or former athletes but there are still some royal members. Not all countries in the IOC have members and the bigger sporting countries such as the U.S., Russia and Germany etc have several members.
The IOC president Jacques Rogge traditionally does not vote unless a casting vote is required on a tie. Members of countries with a candidate city are also excluded while their candidate is still in contention.
The winning candidate requires more than 50 percent of the votes cast in a secret electronic ballot. If no candidate reaches the magic figure, the candidate with the fewest votes drops out and a fresh ballot is made. As there are four candidates, there would be a maximum of three rounds of voting before the winner can be announced. As the contest is expected to be close, it would be a major surprise if there were fewer than three rounds this time.
No voting figures are announced, only the name of the candidate which has been eliminated. All the voting figures are released only after President Rogge names the winner.
The voting starts after the presentations finish at 1400 GMT on Friday. The winner will be announced in a ceremony televised globally and starting at 1630 GMT.
Your guess is as good as mine. If Madrid don’t make it, I’d go for a city which ends in an “o”. (Editing by Alison Wildey; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)