The 2012 Games proved as successful as the 1908 and 1948 editions following grim warnings about possible transport, security and weather disruptions.
“These were happy and glorious Games,” International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said at the closing ceremony.
Now the spotlight will shine on Rio de Janeiro and the first Games to be staged in South America. If Rio delivers, the Games could then conceivably go to Africa, the final continent for the Olympic movement.
“Rio is an experiment,” said Gerhard Heiberg, the chairman of the International Olympic Committee marketing commission.
“It is new. They have never had such a big event in the whole of South America. They have to do a lot on the infrastructure side.
“Hopefully it will go well, we think it will go well. If that is successful, I think the opening for going to Africa will be even bigger because you prove that in a developing nation it is possible. Why not 2024?”
Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced earlier this week that the capital Nairobi plans to bid for the 2024 Olympics, with the IOC due to elect the host city in 2017.
Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul are bidding for the 2020 Games, with a decision next year.