Friday, October 2, 2009

So long Chicago, Hello Rio

Well, Chicago lost big. Rio won big. (Even though I grew up outside of Chicago and it would have been awesome, I'm still very happy for Rio. It's about time South America had an Olympics.)
The IOC’s last two experiences in the United States were bad: the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics were sullied by a bribery scandal and logistical problems and a bombing hit the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Some IOC members theorized that a few voters who liked Chicago actually voted for Tokyo in the first round, figuring the American city would get through easily and not wanting the Japanese capital to be embarrassed.

The indignity suffered by Chicago—long considered a front-runner—was such that some IOC members squirmed... “To have the president of the United States and his wife personally appear, then this should happen in the first round is awful and totally undeserving,” senior Australian IOC member Kevan Gosper said.

the nature of the loss still rang as a stinging anti-American rebuke. Close to half of the IOC’s 106 members are Europeans.

French IOC member Guy Drut said “an excess of security” for the Obamas unsettled some of his colleagues. He complained that he’d been barred from crossing the lobby of his hotel for security reasons, and he grumbled that “nothing has been done” to resolve the financial disputes between the IOC and the USOC.

Chicago's loss is a blow to Obama, too.

Chicago Mourns, and New York Empathizes

Fourth Place Medal

today's vote wasn't a vote against Obama or against Chicago's worthiness to hold the Olympics. It was a vote against the United States.

Chicago’s Loss: Is Passport Control to Blame?

When IOC members are commenting to our President that foreign visitors find traveling to the United States a ‘pretty harrowing experience,’ we need to take seriously the challenge of reforming our entry process to ensure there is a welcome mat to our friends around the world, even as we ensure a secure system.

For Brazil, Olympics mean the future finally has arrived.

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