It wasn't just sadness that ran rampant through Chicago and the United States Oct. 2, but also shock and disbelief.
The International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) eliminated Chicago in the first round of voting to decide the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The committee ultimately chose Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics, marking the first Olympic Games to be held in South America. Rio also will host the 2014 World Cup.
"This is clearly a sentimental choice," ABC-TV's Jay Levine said after the Rio announcement.
House Democrat Mike Quigley of Chicago told the Chicago Tribune: "Chicago was a world-class city before today's decision, and Chicago will be a world-class city tomorrow. Although disappointment hangs in the air, this is not the time for regret, but rather to see opportunity in the incredible work that was done across Chicago over the past months.
"We now have the chance to move forward, free of the demands of the IOC, but equipped with plans that can address the real problems Chicagoans face on a daily basis. Chicago is now armed with an organizing capability never seen before, and an opportunity to continue the momentum and create better schools, more efficient transportation, and safer streets."
The defeat marked the first time since 1980 that the United States has failed in consecutive bid attempts. Los Angeles lost to Montreal in 1976 and Moscow in 1980, but then was awarded the 1984 Games when it was the only viable candidate bidding.
"I'm sure the many people who worked hard on the bid are disappointed," Chicagoan Shawn Albritton told Windy City Times. "But for our gay community, we have a lot to look forward to with the Gay Softball World Series, the Gay Bowl Flag Football both [ in Chicago ] in 2011 and also the 2014 Gay Games in nearby Cleveland."
Added Chicagoan Jack Neilsen: "Chicago had a great solid bid for the 2016 Games. It is an extreme disappointing that the IOC has let an amazing opportunity pass. Good luck to the winning city for the 2016 Games. Hopefully, Chicago will regroup from this experience and progress forward with another bid. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
"I think this is a temporary disappointment for the city of Chicago," said Chicagoan Brian Reder. "Most people will look back in a few years and recognize we dodged a large economic bullet. Sometimes, the best thing is not getting what you want. If you remember, most Cubs fans really wanted [ Alfonso ] Soriano when he was a free agent. Unfortunately our wishes came true and now we're stuck. I hope that all our elected officials, business and civic leaders head back to Chicago with the same resolve to solve our City's problems as they did trying to win the Olympics."
Chicago was the first of the four cities to make its presentation to the IOC, which included emotional appeals from President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The Chicago 2016 committee in Copenhagen included politicians, past Olympians and, of course, Oprah.
Tokyo was the second to present its bid and the second eliminated. Tokyo was the only city of the four to have previously hosted an Olympic Games.
A crowd estimated at 12,000 packed Daley Plaza for the announcement.
"I am glad Chicago was not awarded the Olympic bid," said Marcia Hill, president of the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association ( CMSA ) . "The city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District do not fulfill the current needs of outdoor park space for any of the adult or children leagues, including Chicago MSA [ and ] Chicago Sport and Social club, to name a few. The city of Chicago lacks adequate recreational facilities to host any kind of national 11" or 12" softball tournament. If Chicago had won, Chicago MSA would have lost the softball fields at Waveland, which [ are ] used for our women's softball league and our Senior Cup softball tournament. We can now focus on our needs of improving our current facilities."