Oct. 2nd, 2009

earendil31: (Default)
This is a direct response to [livejournal.com profile] quasiskunk 's post on the choice of Rio as host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

As someone with 0 political connections in Chicago, a commuter, and the son of an Olympian, I can say that I for one would have been very happy if Chicago were picked.  While I am glad that they ended up going to a new place instead of Japan (had it before) or Madrid (Europe again???), I would rather have had it here in my home city.

Exotic, you say? For most of the countries in the Olympics, and particularly the developing nations, Brazil is far closer to their everyday lives than the United States.  As for the money, only in the US are cities expected to pay for the Games themselves with no higher level fiscal aid.  With the Corporate Olympics in Atlanta '96 as the result.  I would have been more than willing to pay a little more for the chance to show off my city to the world.  But that makes me a part of an isolated minority in this country: I don't mind paying to have nice things.

The first round loss... that has as much if not more to do with the internal politics of the IOC than it dos the bid itself.  The USOC and the IOC have been at odds over nearly everything from funding to trademarks to broadcast rights for years now, and some IOC members would have voted against Chicago even if the other cities were Pyongyang and Chernobyl, just to spite the USOC.  Also, the "natural geographic voting blocs" enjoyed by the other cities were far larger than that of the US.  It will always be an uphill battle for any US city to get the summer games.

Finally, while the benefits of the Games to Chicago were always a point of debate, losing the Games in this manner will only be bad.  All political motivation (to say nothing of political capital) to improve the city has effectively vanished.    Since there isn't an impetus to make things better, and since the Council will block everything the Mayor does from now until he's out of office.... I don't think I really need to go on. We now return you to our regularly scheduled problems of roadwork, snow removal, and bad schools.

The really unfortunate part, is that if the IOC decides that this new "pattern" (new and obviously overlooked country - safe city - new and obviously overlooked country) is the new way of things, the next chance for Chicago won't be for some decades.

Enjoy the Games, Rio, you won them well.
Better luck in 2040 Chicago.

***EDIT*** A lot of people are also saying, in essence, the following:

"Chicago is corrupt and so the IOC decided not to vote for a corrupt city where the "same old guys" would profit from everything."

Are you joking? This is the same IOC that voted for BEIJING, CHINA.  The "same old guys" have been profitting over there for 60 YEARS.  And as if Rio doesn't have corruption and crime issues?  If you really think that a crime report had any impact on people, some of whose countries are fighting active insurgencies right now as we type, I'm sorry, I can't help you.

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earendil31

December 2010

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