Thousands of stunned Chicago natives stood in Daley Plaza as International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge announced Chicago received the fewest votes in the first round of voting and would not advance to the second round, ending the city’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Rio de Janeiro was eventually named the host for the 2016 Olympic Games, with Madrid coming in second, followed by Tokyo and Chicago.
I, for one, cannot understand how the IOC could drop Chicago first. I understand all of the cities were worthy and qualified, I’m sure, but there is something to be said for hosting the games in one of the better sports cities in the world.
Israel’s IOC member Alex Gilady said, “Chicago’s presentation without (the Obamas) was very, very anemic.”
Maybe it was. And if it was, then shame on Chicago for thinking reputation alone would win them the gig.
But, honestly, the reason Chicago got bounced in the first round was partly political. Maybe the committee did not like the Obamas coming to speak on behalf of Chicago, or maybe they are not fans of Oprah.
Rio only got the bid because they would be the first South American city to host the Olympic Games. The committee members chose a less than favored city – by most people’s standards – because they wanted to be remembered as the ones who allowed a South American city to be host. What does that say about the committee?
I realize I can do virtually nothing to change the minds of IOC voters, but I certainly hope Chicago’s presentation really was “anemic,” and it was not some political statement to America, because sports is a part of people’s lives devoid of politics – besides that part about presidents throwing out the first pitch. It is not nor should it ever be a sports committee’s responsibility to bring politics into a decision about the game.