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02 Oct 2009
IOC News , Olympic Congress 2009

The 2016 Bid Process Explained

This evening, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge will announce the name of the host city of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016. This announcement will be the culmination of a two-year process, which the IOC has developed over a number of years to ensure that the city that is elected is capable of hosting the Games and that the process is transparent for all involved. Here is a brief recap of how tonight’s decision will have been reached.

Applicant Cities

On 16 May 2007, the IOC invited the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the world to nominate cities in their territories to be Applicant Cities for the 2016 Games. On 13 September 2007, the IOC announced that seven cities had been proposed by their NOCs, namely Chicago (USA), Prague (CZE), Tokyo (JPN), Rio de Janeiro (BRA), Baku (AZE), Doha (QAT) and Madrid (ESP).* These cities all responded to the IOC’s Applicant City Questionnaire, which was then studied by an IOC working group before a report was submitted to the IOC Executive Board.

Candidate Cities

At its meeting on 4 June 2008, the IOC Executive Board selected four cities to become Candidate Cities and to continue to the next part of the bid process. The cities were Chicago (United States), Tokyo (Japan), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Madrid (Spain).* By 12 February 2009, the four bid cities had submitted their candidature files to the IOC, which were based upon the 17 themes of the IOC’s Candidature Procedure and Questionnaire. These files form the basis of each city’s bid for the Games.

Evaluation Commission

On 18 September 2008, President Rogge announced the composition of the IOC’s Evaluation Commission for the 2016 Games. Led by IOC member and Olympian Nawal El Moutawakel, the Commission is composed of representatives of the Olympic Movement and a number of technical advisors. The Commission visited each of the Candidate Cities on the following dates:

Chicago: 4 – 7 April 2009
Tokyo: 16 - 19 April 2009
Rio de Janeiro: 29 April – 2 May 2009
Madrid: 5 - 8 May 2009

Following these visits, the Commission produced the IOC Evaluation Commission report, which is a technical appraisal of each city’s bid. The report was distributed to the IOC membership on 2 September 2009.

Briefing for IOC Members

For the first time in the bid process, a technical briefing for IOC members with the Candidate Cities was held in Lausanne on 17 and 18 June 2009. This meeting came out of the IOC’s evaluation process of previous bid procedures, where it was felt that another opportunity to present the technical elements of a bid to the IOC members would be appreciated by all involved. Approved by the IOC Executive Board at its meeting in Beijing (P.R. China) in April 2008, the meeting was attended by 93 members and involved a technical briefing from each city, followed by a second day for members to ask any follow-up questions they may have had.

121st IOC Session in Copenhagen

The culmination of the bid process is today’s meeting of the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen. The cities will each have 45 minutes to make a presentation to the Session, followed by 15 minutes for questions. The cities will present in the order of drawing of lots, as performed by the IOC Executive Board in December 2007. Following the presentations by the cities, Nawal El Moutawakel will present the report of the Evaluation Commission to the Session.

The Vote

The eligible IOC members will then be asked to vote. In each round; each participating IOC member may vote for only one city. The votes of members not taking part in a round of voting or who abstain, as well as blank or spoilt electronic voting entries, are not taken into account in the calculation of the required majority. If, after the first round of voting, no city obtains the absolute majority of the votes cast, as many rounds are held as necessary for a city to obtain such majority. The city receiving the least number of votes leaves the competition. The name of the city is made public straight away and the vote continues. If only two cities remain in contention, the one that obtains the greatest number of votes is declared elected. The announcement of the winning city is then communicated by the IOC President at the announcement ceremony, following which, the newly elected NOC and city will sign the Host City Contract.

For more information on the 2016 election, visit

More details on the process can be found in the Factsheet on the Host City Election.

* Cities are listed in the order of drawing of lots as performed by the IOC Executive Board in December 2007.

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