Friday, October 2, 2009

Rio gets 2016, Chicago dead last

I expected Rio de Janeiro would win the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and that's exactly what happened at this week's meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen -- even though Brazil is also staging the 2014 World Cup of Soccer with Rio expected to be the host city for that as well.

What I didn't expect was for Chicago to drop off after the first ballot -- I was listening to CNN in the car and when this bomb dropped, my friend and I were absolutely stunned. A mutual friend of ours, who lived for a year in Chicagoland, was also surprised; she thought "my kind of town" was perfect, especially with Lake Michigan for the sailing and rowing events.
A number of sources have suggested a falling out recently between the International Committee and the USOC may have been to blame. I don't think it's that simple.
My sense is that the recent upsurge in violence in President Obama's adopted hometown as well as the epic corruption in Chicago and its suburbs as well as in the Illinois state capital of Springfield may have weighed heavily on the voters, more than the fact South America was the only permanently populated continent never to host either a Summer or Winter Games.
Also, since Rio is usually one or two hours ahead of Eastern time in North America (depending on the time of year), it won't be that hard to broadcast the marquee events live to Europe and Africa as well as the Americas. Besides, Chicago had Oprah. Rio had Pelé. Who would you prefer to have coffee or a beer with?

Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the surviving relatives, of the victims of the Iraqi war, didn't think travelling to the country that sponsored that illegal carnage, was such a hot idea.