In the global contest for recognition and prestige, the summer Olympics is a trophy in a class all its own. For Rio de Janeiro, which becomes the first South American host, victory was doubly sweet; exuberance in Brazil overflowed. And the choice is to be applauded, not only because this unique sporting festival will go to another part of the world, but because the competition was so fierce. The US First Couple strove heroically to support their home city, Chicago, with the President taking a day trip to Denmark.
That was good; even better, though, was to find that neither a country's pre-eminent power nor even the star quality of its leader guaranteed the prize. London well knows the sheer joy and sense of achievement felt yesterday in Rio. Four years on, it also knows something of the hard work, the obligations and the arguments that follow. Brazil will learn this, too. Not in doubt is that, of all cities in the world, Rio knows how to throw a fine party. Who would not want to go?