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Searching for the next Olympics host city

News from Google

Tomorrow morning, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide the host for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games. Competing for the honor are four bid cities: Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.In past years, in addition to seeing a surge in searches during the Games, we typically see a significant swell in searches leading up to the announcement about which will be the next IOC host city. Just two years ago, people from across the world turned to Google to learn more about Sochi, Russia — the newly announced host of the 2014 winter games. Similar patterns emerged across the United Kingdom as citizens searched to learn more about the London 2012 bid.

At Google we've always shared the world's interest in the Olympics, and have expressed that interest through dozens of Google doodles both while the games are occurring (last August, the Beijing Games inspired many doodles) as well as celebrating the naming of host cities (Sochi in 2007). Also, last summer the world followed along at home using our Beijing 2008 Summer Games medal tracker on their iGoogle page or through the Olympic Games onebox on

As decision day for 2016 approaches, we have Googlers in our offices in Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo (and in Sao Paulo cheering on Rio) who are watching and cheering on their cities along with the rest of the world. With the decision tomorrow, we thought it would be interesting to see what people from the host cities and countries are searching for. We've shared some of the coolest tidbits below.

Searches from around the globle for [2016] have reached an all-time high. Search volume from Spain dwarfs, Brazil, the United States and Japan:

In Chicago, searchers are looking more for info on Rio's bid than Madrid's or Tokyo's, possibly indicating that Chicago residents view Rio's bid as the most competitive:

Across Tokyo, people are searching more frequently for information about the Olympics and their city's chances of landing the 2016 games:

Searches translate to [olympics] and [olympics tokyo], in blue and red, respectively

Although Oprah is widely viewed as the most popular full-time Chicago resident in the world, Chicagoans today are searching more for the Olympics than their favorite talk show host:

In Brazil, searches for [jogos olimpicos] (olympic games) have risen 650% over the course of the year. And when looking at Brazilian's interest in [rio 2016] as a search term, the top related search was for [roda rio] (a 36-meter tall ferris wheel, capable of holding 144 passengers with a gondola for the disabled). The ferris wheel, located on Copacabana, was completed in January of this year as part of the city's Olympic bid campaign.

In Spain, search volume for [juegos olmpicos] (olympic games) has more than doubled in the last month alone.
On Google Trends, [2016 olympic decision] has been steadily moving up all day, with the largest volume of searches coming from Chicago and Atlanta:

Ultimately, it comes down to the votes of the 106 IOC members. Around the world, hundreds of Googlers, along with many millions of Google users, eagerly await their decision. Whichever city wins, we can't wait for the Games to begin.

Jim Lecinski, Managing Director, U.S. Sales (and proud Chicagoan)

published @ October 2, 2009

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