#98 – Dick Bernard: Chicago loses its bid for the Olympics
Updated at end of original post.
11:45 a.m. Friday, October 2, 2009
The bulletin came in about 10:30 a.m. CDT that Chicago was dumped from consideration for the Olympic games. It was the first of the four candidates to be thrown out of consideration for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Tokyo was next to go; at this writing Rio de Janeiro and Madrid remain in consideration.
President and Michelle Obama were with the delegation making the pitch for Chicago. The right wing noise machine was outraged that the President would leave his office to go to Europe to lobby for the event.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune editorialized, this morning, that “Chicago, Obama go for the gold. 2010 bid worth presidential prestige“. #mce_temp_url#
Now the bid is gone.
I had no particular opinion on the Olympics matter.
The first Star Tribune bulletin on the rejection pointed to, among other things, the discomfort the International Olympic Committee had with the previous two U.S. Olympics: the bribery scandal at Salt Lake City 2002, and the violence at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Last I looked, the reference is still there, buried towards the bottom of the second story.
Here’s the Star Tribune update, which I assume is updated (changed) regularly. The one I’m posting was up at 11:52 a.m. #mce_temp_url#
I will await the right wing talking points, which will appear shortly. My prediction: they’ll say Obama is a loser, and/or that it’s just another reason to distrust Europe.
Saturday October 3 3:45 p.m.
Oddly, Obam’s “losing bid” made the front page of the Saturday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, carrying an article by Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times. The “Obama as loser” piece seems to have been the item for the right wing to celebrate, even though it would seem far more odd (and more subject to criticism) if Obama had not joined the delegation from his home city. A “win” of the games would be very good for the local (as in “Made in the USA”) economy which we so revere. So it goes….
There were doubtless many reasons for the International Olympic Committee’s vote. One of the major ones, likely, is that the games in Rio de Janeiro will be the first ever in South America.
Three readers commented on the initial post:
Jeff: “They can try again for 2020…that is what happens.
Its all a big money making operation for all concerned.
Long ago [the games] lost its amateur hip hip hooray jolly good fair play and may the best man/woman win ethos…anyway.”
Will: “Read [the October 2, 2009] editorial in the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune.#mce_temp_url# . I interpret it as their first [move] toward gaining public funding not only for the Minnesota Vikings’ proposed new stadium, a $1 billion dollar scam, $700 million of which would be paid by us taxpayers, but that the structure also would be used for a Summer Olympics bid, all the stronger now that Chicago has been rejected. And of course it would be located in sacrosanct downtown Minneapolis. The Olympics are not all that they are cracked up to be for the host community: hear maverick sportswriter Dave Ziron on October 2 “Democracy Now!” #mce_temp_url# for the seamy side of the Games. In its steadily descending social spiral, Minnesota must now lead the world in publicly-funded stadiums. Some distinction.”
Connie: “I have a brief observation: when the word came to my office that Chicago lost the bid (my office is in the Chicago area and is surrounded by quite a few conservatives), my head turned and these people stood up with faces that I swear had slight smiles on them. I think they were glad and not because they didn’t want the Olympics in Chicago where most all of them are from, but because Obama had not been able to close the deal. I just muttered something like “Oh, that’s too bad. There could have been a lot of work and jobs generated here and elsewhere if Chicago got the games.” Things quieted down a bit and that was that. Just a sad personal comment.”