Friday, October 2, 2009

Hard Feelings

Well, that was fun. For a fleeting moment, we all thought Chicago had a great chance to host the 2016 Olympics. The city was the odds on favorite to win the bid because of the well built infrastructure and a certain president who calls it home.

Yet even Barack Obama's impassioned speech couldn't save the Windy City from being the first city eliminated from the running in a stunning turn of events. Rio will be the host city for the 2016 games, the first time the games have gone to South America. Good luck keeping order in that beautiful, but crime infested city. My over/under on kidnapped tourists is four.

Looking back, maybe we shouldn't be so stunned that Chicago was quickly dispensed by the Olympic committee. After all, they don't like American venues too much.

The last summer games held in America didn't go over too well with those Olympic types. The 1996 Atlanta games were widely criticized for a bevy of things including the power play of Atlanta based Coca Cola to make itself the sole soft drink served at the Olympics, the incredible number of vendors who attempted to compete with the licensed Olympic shops, and the general over-commercialization of the entire Olympic Games.

Oh, and a bomb went off in the Olympic village. That kind of sucked too.

Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch famously stood at his podium (probably with an incarnadine face) after the games ended in Atlanta and said that the 1996 games had been "most exceptional." At all the prior Olympics he oversaw, he would proclaim that the games were "the best ever." He resumed saying that at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Point taken.

Chicago would have been a great host for the Olypmics even without the prescence of Obama. It's just a swell city and the Olympics would have at least given Cubs fans something else to do in the summer besides bitch about their team. Alas, America apparently has a sullied reuptation among the Olympic committee members. Some day though. Some day the summer games will visit the American heartland.

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