Rio erupts in celebration as it will host 2016 Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Nearly 50,000 people erupted in celebration when Rio de Janeiro was announced host of the 2016 Olympics on Friday, jumping and cheering in a Carnival-like party on Copacabana beach.

A huge roar was heard at the famed beach the moment International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said the words "Rio de Janeiro" when announcing the winner in Copenhagen.

As popular President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and soccer great Pele celebrated in Denmark, the Cariocas, as Rio citizens are known, raised their arms to commemorate on Copacabana, frantically waving flags and hugging each other.

The party was expected to go on well into the night, and officials said the crowd would easily surpass 100,000 people.

The Cariocas danced to samba as confetti was launched into the air in front of a massive stage set up for the victory celebration.

A banner half the size of a soccer field - with Rio's logo, an image of the Christ the Redeemer statue and the words "Rio Loves You" - was displayed.

The Cariocas had been anxiously awaiting the result, taking advantage of a sunny day to watch the announcement on two big screens set up on the beach. Live concerts featuring popular artists had been entertaining the crowd since early in the morning, and the traditional Salgueiro samba group was on hand to keep the party going.

Rio beat Madrid, Chicago, and Tokyo, finally winning the bid after failed attempts in 1936, 2004 and 2012.

The Games will be the first held in South America, and will take place by one of the most impressive backdrops - Rio's stunning beaches and famous landmarks, including the Sugar Loaf mountain and the Christ the Redeemer statue.

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