I'm not surprised Chicago lost

>> Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm surprised that people thought it was a top 2 contender. I watched Chicago's last presentation to the IOC last night. I was not impressed. The media wanted to make it about Rio versus Chicago, but that doesn't mean it was ever going to come down to those two.

Chicago's bid was relatively lackluster. There wasn't much going for it. Tokyo was selling itself as the first "sustainable games," which is pretty significant. They were going to have a solar-powered stadium. (I'd like to see that. The designs looked pretty cool.) Madrid has most of the facilities already built (very significant post-Athens), and they had a former IOC chairman lobbying on their behalf. This was Rio's second bid. They lost out in the early rounds four years ago and submitted a much better bid this time. When you add in that South America has never hosted the games and that the current IOC chair Jacques Rogge wants the games to be truly "global," it was pretty obvious Rio was always going to win. Chicago never had much of a chance because they never submitted a bid that distinguished themselves outside of the pack.

People are putting way too much in the fact that Obama went to Copenhagen. Since the SLC bid scandal broke years ago, it has become standard for heads of state to lobby (such as making appearances) the IOC because National Olympic Committees can't do the kind of bribing (like tuition-free college educations at US universities) that used to go on to get the games prior to SLC winning. The only reason Bush didn't go four years ago in '05 was because he was hated so much. All the other countries had their heads of state lobby. Brazil had their president in Copenhagen for two days. King Carlos of Spain took a visit too. Japan's prime minister also paid a visit.

Blaming Barack Obama for Chicago's losing bid is ridiculous. It just show how much the US expects to be awarded the Olympic Games every time they put in a bid. The US has hosted more than any other country. There's plenty of countries who deserve the chance to host too.


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