Rio de Janeiro, an emerging market city showing great economic potential at a time of being awarded the right to host the 2016 Olympics in 2009, by the time of the Games has become beset by a myriad of problems. Brazil’s recession since 2015, the ballooning inflation and unemployment, political stalemate surrounding President Ruosseuf’s impeachment, and the Zika virus have greatly undermined the city. Was Rio de Janeiro the right choice among the candidate cities of Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago? From a purely economic perspective, Chicago would have served as the best option for hosting the Olympics. The city’s GDP, unemployment, disposable income, and consumer expenditure figures showed the best performance, when compared to the other candidate cities, since 2009.