Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid are bidding to host the 2016 Games with the IOC voting on the best bids on October 2 at its session in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In my opinion, Chicago has the edge only if President Obama attends the meetings and starts lobbying for it. In the past, political figures such as Tony Blair and the 2012 London Summer Olympics, and Vladimir Putin and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics helped influence the IOC officials.
Obama will be the first active United States president to attend an Olympic session. They didn’t need the help of U.S. Presidents for 1984 Los Angeles nor 1996 Atlanta Games.
Rio de Janeiro’s niche is bidding for the first South American host city. Africa, South America and Antarctica are the only continents never to host the Olympics. Maybe Antarctica should host the Winter games?
But I think Rio is hurt from hosting the Pan-American Games in 2007 where a lot of facilities and infrastructure projects like metro transit lines were never completed.
The irony is the Olympic logo’s 5 rings represents the union of 5 continents, but they have been held in only 3 continents since 1896.
Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic, quotes:
“ The Olympic flag […] has a white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, yellow, black, green and red […]. This design is symbolic; it represents the five continents of the world, united by Olympism, while the six colours are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time. ”
1931, Textes choisis, vol. II, p.470.
It’s not over until it’s over.
After the first vote, the host city with the least number of votes is eliminated.
With 4 bids, the first 2 rounds will be critical as those eliminated from the early round must reverse their “first choice” and choose another host city. They could, however, abstain from a vote.
In a way, this process is unfair as a majority of the votes could come from their “second choice”.
So while the media may portray a Chicago vs. Rio dogfight, the real answer comes from those who pick Tokyo or Madrid as their first choice.
King Juan Carlos of Spain has said he will support Rio only if Madrid is eliminated in the first round of voting.
This site is intriguing.
I am not sure if someone from Rio set this up, or whether it’s an anti-Chicago resident, but the website makes every attempt to stay anonymous.
I watched the Olympics live in 1976 in my hometown of Montreal, Canada, and based on the website, I’m still paying for those games 33 years later!