Rio has been selected as the city to host the 2016 Olympics. In a stunning turn of events, Chicago was eliminated in the first round. That wasn’t just losing a vote. That was a bitch slap of humiliating devastation.
It sure made for some interesting talk this afternoon as analysis began on why we lost.
First we have geopolitics. We’re getting the blame for the global financial crisis plus there are two unpopular wars we’re fighting. Then there are those who go farther saying that this is just more evidence of anti-Americanism. Republicans are making light of this saying that the IOC are a bunch of racists—a reference to themselves being tarred and feathered with this accusation because they don’t support Obama.
There is also the “why-not-Rio” factor. There’s the fact that the Olympics haven’t gone to South America and as President Lula mentioned in his speech, bringing the games to Rio opens the games to the masses down there (well at least the ones that can afford it).
Perception of the city was also being brought up. Given the fact that Chicago residents are about evenly split in support of the games, and the recent beatings that have been played in the news, might have scared off some votes. While I could entertain the first, I’m not sure the “crime wave” has much to do with it. I mean just look at the murder stats: a few hundred in Chicago versus thousands in Rio annually.
It’s tough not to take this personally. I suppose the silver lining is that we’re not going to be on the hook for cost overruns and the Chicago political elite are going to have to dip into some other people’s pockets for their money. Still, having the games would have been beautiful. And as Roe said, now we’re going to have world class competitions in a place where you can’t even flush down toilet paper!