The door closes on Chicago and Rio gets the nod!
Is it really a surprise that Rio de Janeiro won the bid for the 2016 Olympics?
Rio de Janeiro
After all of the hoopla, politicking, and lobbying; it's a done deal. Rio de Janeiro will be hosting the summer Olympics in 2016. To many, it seemed that the race would come down to a decision between Chicago and Rio. I joined the ranks of many others who were stymied to learn that Chicago was eliminated in the first round. Even Tokyo - the universal underdog - did better. Personally, and humbly.... I think the IOC got it right this time. As nice as it would be to have the Olympics close to home again - Isn't it about time they had one in South America?
Additionally, Brazil has arrived! So it's time for them to join the international community and represent. And it's time for Brazil to pull some of the load and be held accountable. That means they'll have to pull out their check book and spend a few reais. You know R$. Centavos? Brazilian Dollarini's... ?
You know what I mean? I certainly mean no disrespect but the Olympics should be a global responsibility and a global benefit. Yeah it's going to be a tad bit costly but think of the spillover benefits. New housing, athletic venues, jobs, and infrastructure. Perhaps they'll clean up some of the crime as well.
Furthermore, I'm thrilled that the world will have a chance to view and experience some of Brazil's rich and extensive culture. Many athletes and staff will have an opportunity to visit a part of the world that ordinarily would have escaped them. Chicago is a great place to be in the summertime, but Rio is a new and exciting venue! Millions of viewers will now have a chance to enjoy Brazil right from their living rooms as they watch and observe as their athletes compete.
My hat is off to President Obama, Oprah, Michael Jordan, and the many others who spent political capital in an attempt to bring the games to Chicago. A valiant and noteworthy effort. Sadly, I fear that had Chicago won the bid, many in the world would have viewed this as just another example of the United States applying economic and political dominance.
Way to go Rio!
But I'm sure pulling for Chicago in 2020!
Let's see, ......... how old will I be then?