Monday, October 05, 2009

Rio wins 2016 Games

Rio wins 2016 Games as IOC rebuffs Obama | By Paul Radford and Stuart Grudgings Paul Radford And Stuart Grudgings – Fri Oct 2, 4:57 pm ET | COPENHAGEN/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – "Rio de Janeiro won a resounding vote on Friday to stage the first Olympics in South America in 2016, rebuffing U.S. President Barack Obama, who had personally lobbied for his adopted hometown Chicago."

Gasps greet Chicago's ouster from Games bid | By Ben Klayman Ben Klayman – Fri Oct 2, 3:09 pm ET | CHICAGO (Reuters) – "Gasps and tears greeted the announcement on Friday that Chicago had lost its bid to host the 2016 Summer Games, as the city went from favorite to also-ran in the multibillion-dollar Olympics sweepstakes."

I find this reaction slightly puzzling. Did they honestly think that Chicago had any chance of winning this bid? Anyone who knows international sports and the IOC knew that Chicago was never even a blip on the radar for 2016. That has been evident for a long time. It is also why I was amused when President Obama jumped into the whole thing. Why associate you name with something that was obviously never going to happen? The first lady I can understand. Oprah had to back the city, of course. But the three of them are insignificant to the IOC.

Hell, if all the billionaires in the US backed the city it still wouldn't have had a snowballs chance on Mercury. The kind of money and "favors" that are involved with choosing a city for the Olympics are on a scale the makes them look like paupers. Then there's the political back-room stuff. Chicago, and, by extension, the US, currently doesn't have the standing in the IOC's world to give the selection committee a moments consideration.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not happy with the situation. Merit is only a small fraction of what's taken into account for picking a city. But this is the way it's been for the modern games. It's just confusing that many people don't see what is directly in front of them.
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