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Chicago calling or roll on Rio?

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Matt Slater | 17:00 UK time, Friday, 28 August 2009

Deciding the host city for an Olympics used to be a far simpler affair. The International Olympic Committee would gather, discuss some locations, reject Detroit (seven times!) and choose a capital/leading city from one of the usual suspects, often unanimously.

Sometimes these decisions were motivated by generosity (Antwerp got the 1920 Games in recognition of Belgium's WWI treatment), sometimes it was a case of being the next cab off the rank (Amsterdam lost to Paris in 1924 so got it in 1928) and every now and then they would give the Games to Los Angeles because nobody else wanted them (1932 and 1984).

You would occasionally get a nail-biter (Melbourne beat Buenos Aires 21-20 to get the nod for 1956) and sometimes there would be a slight hint of national prestige involved (LA v Moscow in 1976 and 1980), but generally these votes did not bring nations to a halt, signify historic shifts in global influence or upset anybody, apart from perhaps Detroiters.

That has all changed now, though.

ioc595.jpg

Whichever of Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo gets the 2016 Games will have come through perhaps the closest bidding race in IOC history.

For the winners there will be initial euphoria, the gradual realisation of the hard slog ahead and the carrot of throwing the world's greatest party. For the losers there will be instant dismay, drawn-out recriminations and the gloomy prospect of P45s.

So who's going to win then?

Let's get this out of the way early on: I don't know.

And neither do any of the journalists, bid insiders and assorted IOC watchers I have spoken to in the last few months. It's a hoary old cliché but that doesn't make it any less true, this race is too close to call.

The last ranking we've had from the IOC came in March 2008 when it released its evaluation reports on all seven candidate cities (the shortlisted four plus Baku, Doha and Prague). This was a technical assessment of how each bid measured up on things like government backing, transport and security.

On this more black and white judgement, Tokyo scored marginally higher than Madrid. Then there was a gap to Chicago, with Rio back in fifth, behind Doha.

The IOC's decision to shortlist Rio over Qatar's capital brought considerable criticism from the Arab world but Doha's proposition fell down in a couple of areas (the most significant being an autumn scheduling to avoid the summer heat and Doha's relatively small population...not good for ticket sales), while Rio offered a tantalising opportunity to tick off another continent and the potential for the mother of all carnivals.

Those two factors remain Rio's strongest cards and many pundits are starting to wonder if they could be enough for a winning hand.

That would be some comeback but deciding which city gets the Games has always been about more than who has the best transport plan - geopolitics, wow factor, commercial interests, what the big broadcasters want (and for "big" read American) and the private whims of the IOC's cosmopolitan membership all play their parts.

Which is why the latest odds from British bookmakers fly in the face of those early IOC reports: Chicago are odds-on favourites, with Rio second, Tokyo not far behind and Madrid adrift but not out of it. That order hasn't changed over the last six months but the Windy City's odds have stiffened, while the others' have drifted.

Chicago's frontrunner status is supported by the findings of Around the Rings, a respected newsletter and website that has been covering Olympic news for 20 years.

The most recent "ATR 2016 Olympic Bid Power Index" has America's third largest city on 80 points out of 110 (ATR looks at the IOC's 11 key criteria but incorporates more subjective elements too), Madrid second on 78 and Rio and Tokyo joint third on 77.

So when the IOC's 106 members gather in Copenhagen to vote on 2 October, Chicago has a good chance of becoming the fourth US city to stage a summer Games - 112 years after it won the right to host one only to have St Louis pinch it - but that is all it is.

Londoners celebrate the news from Singapore in Trafalgar Square four years ago

If we compare this race with the one that came to such a thrilling conclusion in Singapore four years ago, this year's London and Paris appear to be Chicago and Rio. But unlike 2005, the 2009 race has no rank outsiders.

While there are only three points separating first and last in ATR's latest rankings, there was a 20-point spread in 2005. New York and Moscow were perceived to have fought lacklustre campaigns and that was soon borne out by the voting.

Ed Hula, ATR's editor and founder, believes this year's race is so close it's "scary".

He believes there could be just a few votes between all four cities in the first round of voting and whoever loses will do so knowing they have put together a plan that would measure up against plenty of previous hosts.

Who their first-round backers transfer their votes to in the subsequent rounds will settle who gets the 2016 Games and that is when you get really lost in the possible permutations.

"I go back and forth between Chicago and Rio - Chicago's got the hotel rooms but Rio has that emotional pull," said Hula.

If that assessment leaves Madrid and Tokyo feeling a little bit glum, they shouldn't throw in the towel just yet.

The Spanish capital, an unlucky loser in 2005, has plenty going for it this time too: a sound plan, most of its venues built, the behind-the-scenes support of former IOC president and current honorary president Juan Antonio Samaranch and credit in the bank from previous bids.

On the debit side, however, is its location, which is something it can do nothing about. A win for Madrid in Copenhagen would make it three Olympics in a row in Europe (London 2012 and Sochi 2014).

It is a similar story for Tokyo. A compelling case on paper (a compact Games with superb green and redevelopment credentials), the world's largest metropolitan area might be marked down for being too like and too close to Beijing, last year's host.

But the Japanese can take heart from another important indicator of bid success - GamesBids.com's BidIndex. This mathematical model takes the kind of things the ATR index measures and combines them with a statistical analysis of historic voting patterns.

It's all totally beyond my limited maths but it comes up with a journalist-friendly number: Tokyo currently leads with 61.41, Rio is second with 59.95, Madrid third on 58.73 and Chicago last on 58.37. The first three all saw their scores rise slightly over the previous six months, while Chicago's fell.

But again, the closeness of this race is readily apparent, just three points between the four cities. There were 17 points between top-ranked Paris and bottom-ranked Moscow going into Singapore.

US President Barack Obama has close ties with Chicago

"Nobody can be written off and I don't think that's happened for a Summer Games for a long time - it's a real puzzle," said GamesBids.com's Robert Livingstone.

We might get a few more clues to the puzzle on Wednesday, when the IOC's evaluation commission (a 13-strong team set up in the wake of the Salt Lake Games bribes-for-votes scandal) publishes its final report, but my guess is that we'll be left with the same equation: the IOC's heart calling for Copacabana but its head worrying about crime and passing up the riches on offer in Chicago, a confusion that might just let in Madrid or Tokyo.

Could that decision be made a little bit easier by the presence in Copenhagen of the world's most powerful man? Can Barack Obama, Chicago's top trump, risk so much political capital on anything other than a slam dunk? Can he risk not going? Is it fair the US gets a Summer Games every 20 years when there are continents still waiting for their first? Will Detroit ever bid again?

Like I said, I don't know...but I'm looking forward to finding out. And if there are any fresh pointers in those final reports I'll post a comment below.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    My bet is on Chicago.

    If they can get Barack Obama there the vote is theirs. Its a bit like London2012 sending in Tony Blair and David Beckham to woo the voters and staying untill the final moments unlike the France president who left the day before.

  • Comment number 2.

    Barack Obama may give Chicago the edge, but Rio deserves it chance. Its capaable of holding the 2014 FIFA World Cup and by 2010 every continent apart from Australia which will more than likely get the 2022 World cup would had staged the World Cup.

    Rio has the chance for South America and has the passion by 2016 - it would have had fresh experince of staging a global sports competetion and hopefully woulf have workrd on any Crime or Secruity problems.

    USA have recenly had the games in Atlana 1996, LA 1984 - not counting any WInter Olympics!

    Madrid has no chance its to close after London 2012 to have the Olympics in Europe and with Beijing 2008 its to close for Toykos turn

    I say RIO 2016 , and CAPE TOWN or DURBAN for 2020

  • Comment number 3.

    mpjacko, I think you're right.

    There are rumours that three hotels in Copenhagen have already been booked and security-checked for Obama although he is still not committed to going. I've spoken to a couple of senior Chicago 2016 guys over the last few months and they made it quite clear how important his presence in Denmark was.

    President Lula da Silva of Brazil is definitely going and it wouldn't surprise me if Spain's King Juan Carlos (and former Olympian) goes as well. Japan has just elected a new PM so he might be a bit busy.

    In terms of other factors there have been a couple of interesting stories in the last week or so. I'm not sure how credible this survey is http://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6472 but it certainly supports things I've been hearing all year: the good people of Tokyo just aren't up staging the Games...or certainly not enough of them are up for it. I don't know enough about the debate on the ground but it seems a bit strange to me as the plan looks great from a Tokyo redevelopment point of view.

    I'm not sure Madrid's high approval rating will be enough for them either, particularly with local support for Chicago's bid appearing to be so solid. But even this raises interesting questions as the Spanish media seemed to be turning against the bid http://www.insidethegames.com/show-news.php?id=6415 while there has always been organised and vocal opposition to Chicago's bid - Chicago Reader columnist Ben Joravsky has been scathing about the impact it will make on city's finances http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/ArticleArchives?tag=Chicago%202016%20bid So no candidate city is going to have 100% support, it's up to the IOC to decide how much dissent it is comfortable with.

    As for the other recent story I mentioned, the timing of a new Brazilian TV deal for Olympic broadcasts seemed very significant last week http://www.sportbusiness.com/news/170327/brazil-olympics-television-rights-sold-for-210m

    OK, in US terms (or even Japanese) the amount on the table isn't massive but it is a huge increase. That is the kind of thing that makes the IOC sit up. It also underlines the growth potential of the Brazilian economy.

    All that said.....my head still says Chicago!


  • Comment number 4.

    Breaking News...well, breaking confirmation, anyway.

    That final evaluation report from the IOC has just appeared and these are the headlines:

    - No rankings and all cities praised
    - Chicago marked down for lack of financial guarantees from city/state/fed gov
    - Tokyo's poor local support noted
    - Some concerns about who/which branch of gov is doing what in Madrid
    - Worries about Rio's accommodation options and schemes to tackle poverty

    Still Chicago's private/corporate wealth & tried-and-tested reputation for hosting big events v Rio's more untapped potential, for me....and having seen what the IOC went for with the new sports for 2016, I think they'll go for Chicago.

  • Comment number 5.

    mpjacko - just to clarify; Blair actually let before Chirac, as Blair was hosting the G8 in Gleneagles. London was presenting after Paris, so Blair did a piece to video instead of presenting in person; however Blair did his bit in French (as well as English) which no doubt impressed the IOC, whilst Chirac didn't speak any English.

    Matt - just sped read the report myself, have to agree with your analysis apart from the fact that the IOC's report is pre-decision on the inclusion of 2016 sports, so doesn't make reference to them. It's interesting how they pick up on little things (tokyo2016.com not being owned by the bid team).

    All cities are indeed praised, but one of the most obvious comments is that the Tokyo bid team said some venues are "existing" whereas in fact they aren't! Also the IOC doesn't make reference to the fact that Tokyo's bid team have again & again linked this bid to their World Cup bid for 2018/2022 and that they really want both to build the right infrastructure.

  • Comment number 6.

    For those, like me and Jordan D, who like to read 90-page reports like Usain Bolt runs his races, here's a link to the pdf file http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_1469.pdf

    Jordan, you make a good point on the timing of this report in regard to the sports decisions but my point was a bit different. I was suggesting they might be as conservative/safe with their city choice as they were with their sports choices.....chicago is the golf of these four cities!

  • Comment number 7.

    No worries about Rio's crime level's!? I guess they won't be spending any time walking round the streets.

  • Comment number 8.

    Matt - true, however the IOC are traditionally quite risk adverse, and the Chicago team have left the IOC open to potentially a very large funding shortfall. Throw in the USOC's daliance with their own broadcast operation earlier this year and the perceived 'fed up' attitude that some in the IOC have with the USOC's take of the pie, and I wouldn't say it's as safe as one could imagine; I'd suggest Tokyo seems safer as a city choice goes; the report suggests a better legacy programme which is something the IOC go bananas about.

  • Comment number 9.

    Ah yes, Jordan, but then USOC backed down (under pressure from NBC) and recent noises suggest the IOC isn't as fed up with US as some other members of the Olympic Family.....look at the Chinese TV deal, then look at the US one!

    You make a good point about that tokyo2016.com comment - hardly fair when Chicago is in exactly the same boat!

    Omaplata, crime is a major Achilles heel for Rio and Madrid and Tokyo have been making hay with this. It's not cricket for bid cities to directly criticise other bids but recent speeches/press releases by Madrid and Tokyo have hammered the crime/security point.

    Chicago, funnily enough (with its own problems in this area), has been pretty quiet about Rio's mean streets.

  • Comment number 10.

    Doesn't the fact that Atlanta's games were seen as over-commercialised and not such a success not count against another Olympics in the USA? Or was this just the verdict of some biased European media?

  • Comment number 11.

    I live in Chicago and am very supportive of the bid to bring the 2016 Olympics here. I, too, think Chicago is a slight favorite to win it. I'd like to comment on rickym63's reference to the Atlanta games. I'm not sure where you're from rickym63, or if you're familiar with both Chicago and Atlanta, but having lived in Chicago for seven years and having visited Atlanta many times, including during the 1996 Olympics, it is a very important point to note that Chicago and Atlanta are far different cities. I believe Atlanta should have never had the games because it was too small and lacked significant infrastructure, including a large transportation system, needed to host the games. Atlanta also isn't as cosmopolitan and diverse as Chicago, and has never been particularly well governed by its elected leaders, in stark contrast to the long and effective governance of Mayor Daley in Chicago (despite his critics). Chicago is truly a world-clss city that is regarded as one of the top ten global business cities and is one of the biggest convention and tourist destinations in the world. Sure, a lot of work will be needed in Chicago to stage the games, as is true with any city, but Chicago's existing infrastructure, strong governance, wealth, physical beauty and passion for sport make it a very attractive choice for the 2016 Olympics.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think Chicago has the edge right now, but it's a bit of a close thing.

    The fact Rio is pretty close time-wise to the US mitigates the TV factor a bit (they won't have to schedule the big events at odd hours to get it in primetime here). Also, the two probable additions to the programme seem to fit Chicago better (there are a lot of major golf courses in the Chicago area, and I could imagine the Rugby Sevens tournament being played at Soldier Field as well as soccer games)..

  • Comment number 13.

    I see Chicago and Rio as potential candidates.. why?
    1. Chicago
    Because Chicago is a beautiful city and has a lot to offer to tourists and olympians. I lived there and am raring to go back! Lake michigan offers the beauty and touristy looks to chicago and can provide venues for the olympics. Infrastructure is there already. Enough space to build another bird's nest type stadium and use the exsisting stadiums nearby to stage other events including football.
    2. Rio
    Located in beautiful brazil and probably has the right infrastructure with the 2014 worldcup providing a cushion for success. Accessibility to water sports is there too.

    My bet - Chicago

    Can't wait to relocate to chicago before 2016 comes.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm going to think outside of the box and say none will get it. When they vote on it, they will all go dead-lock. They will then decide to go to the nearby bar and get smash drunk and come back and vote again. Detroit 2016!

  • Comment number 15.

    rickym63 - The negative vibes about Atlanta were more than just the creation of a biased European media...but it is quite a complicated story.

    For what it's worth here are my thoughts on why Atlanta '96 is perceived to be a bit of a dud, particularly by Brits.

    - One, the Games were too commercial/corporate.
    - Two, Atlanta never really communicated its message/story v well, especially outside of America. OK, internally the New South thing made sense, but that didn't really resonate for the rest of the world. The stories about moving the homeless out of the way didn't help either.
    - Three, I like bits of Atlanta and I like Atlantans, but it didn't work as a venue...where is its middle? Which are its iconic buildings?
    - Four, Atlanta, like Munich, got very unlucky with terrorism.
    - Five, too many little things went wrong...buses, computers, Britain being completely rubbish.

    All that said, I'm sure (I wasn't there) Atlanta '96 was a lot better than the British media often portrays it...after all, there was some decent sport.

    Now, looking ahead to 2016, I think Chicago will be a great venue if it gets the Games. It looks and feels more like a European city with a proper middle and vibrant neighbourhoods, has a cosmpolitan populace, beautiful lakefront, interesting history and great sporting traditions.

    wilsonatmd - you make a great point about Rio not being a disaster for US TV...I also wonder if US corporations actually quite fancy the opportunity to market their products in one of the fast-growing BRIC economies.

    washuotaku - I love the idea of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Sergei Bubka, the adjutant general of wherever, Princess Anne and Frankie Fredericks doing forfeits to decide their next holiday (and I would love them to choose Detroit, I really would, Kid Rock, Eminem and Aretha Franklin do the opening ceremony, archery at Tiger Stadium, rugby sevens at Ford Field, cycling road race down Telegraph Avenue...) but that is probably the only way they would opt for the Motor City's charms.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'd love to see Rio get the Olympics since it's a warm-hearted, wonderful, beautiful city, and since Brazil, the world's 5th largest country, has never been host.
    However, having spent five days at a conference there in June (following three visits in the 1990s), I feel the city still needs to do a lot to lessen its appalling social inequalities. During my stay, I heard of no fewer than six separate incidents of conference-goers getting mugged, most of them in the upscale Ipanema district by teenaged gangs from the favelas. This is NOT a reason to disqualify Rio, but the city's Olympic bid MUST contain some serious plans for urban renewal and low-income job creation, rather than mere promises of a heavier police presence.

  • Comment number 17.

    As stated I don't think MAdrid or Tokyo will get it because of the previous two games being close to those cities.

    Should be a straight fight between Rio and Chicago, the biggest question for me is, can Rio cope with an Olympics? but a second question is also there, should Rio get the Olympics so soon after Brazil hosts the football world cup? I would consider waiting and watching to see how the development goes for that, perhaps look to South America for the 2020 games.

  • Comment number 18.

    The Spanish press is full of gloom and despondancy this morning. They found that coming bottom of the assessmen and the relatively severe criticisms have left people feeling that Madrid's candicacy is in deep trouble. This is in complete contrast to the 2005 technical report, where the press ignored criticisms in the technical report and were stunned and horrified later to find that other bids had overtaken them.

  • Comment number 19.

    Postn17 I agree with you re Rio. I think it makes more sense for 2020.

    I cannot see Brazil being able either economically or organisationally to organise the World Cup and the Olympics within two years.

  • Comment number 20.

    Bring on Cape Town in 2020

  • Comment number 21.

    I think the voting will go like this
    1.Chicago Winner
    2.Madrid
    3.Rio
    4.Tokyo

  • Comment number 22.

    Morning all, a few late comments to respond...in reverse order:

    ReadingJamie - I still think the bookies have probably got it right (Chicago, Rio, Tokyo and then Madrid) but there is no doubt that yesterday's report has made things even closer between Chicago and Rio. I think Madrid's chances have gone. For them to get past the "another European Games" issue they would have to have had a glowing report y'day. But they didn't. Compared to Rio's it was a bit lukewarm, to be honest.

    robcarnival - Couldn't agree more! Although I quite like the logic of Rio standing a great chance in 2020 if it gets knocked back this time.

    ian_the_chopper - It's funny you make that point about the World Cup/Olympics double as Rio has gone to great lengths to nip that one in the bud. First, it has happened three times before Munich/Germany, Mexico City/Mexico and USA/Atlanta (you could perhaps add a fourth time - but you would be pushing it - by saying the 1956 equestrian events took place in Stockholm, two years before Sweden hosted World Cup). And second, cities host Olympics, countries host World Cups. All that said, I think you might be right.

    Cricketing_stargazer - Can't say I'm surprised. Yesterday was a bad day for their bid. They really needed to nail the technical aspects.

    hackerjack - Yep, you're probably right....although Rio's backers point to the success of the 2007 Pan-Am Games, the relative strength of the Brazilian economy and the energising effects of staging an Olympics.

    paxmana - Crime is without doubt Rio's soft underbelly and it was alluded to in the report, as were the bid's plans to address some of the city's social problems. If enough IOC members believe Rio can make some progress on crime over next few years/provide the kind of security blanket the Chinese did in Beijing, then they might back the city's joie de vivre over the other cities' better crime stats.

    Thanks for reading

  • Comment number 23.

    As a brazilian, and a carioca (born in Rio) myself, i sincerely hope we do not land the olympics, and I'm not alone in that. As we have seen with the pan-american games (in Rio) of 2007, and will see with the world cup 2014, these type of events here are the source of ridiculous levels of state spending and corruption.
    For example, the budget of the 2007 pan-am games was overrun roughly ten times, to build, among others, a athletics stadium (rarely used for athletics and currently a football stadium) which can't be expanded past 60k capacity, and therefore won't be used in the olympics, an aquatic sports complex with the same problem, and many other venues that haven't been used since the games, and all of that using nothing but public money.
    There has also been the crippling of the Jacarepagua racing track, former host of F1, Indycars, and until 2004 the motogp, and will never be used by top level motorsports ever again, especially since total demolition is planned regardless of whether Rio wins or not the games, while promises of the construction of a new one can only be believed by complete idiots.
    For the World Cup in 2014 the same things will surely happen again, for example there is a plan of building a 50k capacity stadium in Cuiabá, which only has a club in the 3rd division of brazilian football (and has just been relegated to the 4th), with an average attendance of 503 (yes, 503 people) for 120 million pounds, all public money.
    The olympics will only ensure more of our money goes down the drain.

  • Comment number 24.

    Matt, indeed it is interesting to follow the media reaction in Spain. In 2005 the headline in the press for the technical report on the bid was "immaculate" and it was only slowly that the penny dropped that the rival bids really had received a near perfect technical report, but there were some significant criticisms of Madrid. These though were given little publicity and the media were projecting total confidence that Madrid would win, beating Paris in the final vote. Even now, there is a strong feeling that their bid was robbed of victory, with the missing Greek vote often being cited as how they lost the Games in murky circumstances. It seemed to be the total over-confidence in the success of the bid that lost them the Games in the end.

    For 2009, the media seems very less gung-ho in their absolute confidence, even though there are constant broadcast reminders that in X days Madrid will be the successful candidate city. The downbeat coverage last night and this morning is in total contrast to the blind confidence of 2005, although there is a sub-text of the IOC being deliberately obtuse in their understanding of the Spanish doping rules that will apply to the Games and a bewilderment that their candidature should be the one singled-out when all the other bids have such great problems in far more important departments.

  • Comment number 25.

    vitorh, it seems you're not alone (and it's not just Madrid feeling down in the dumps today):

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/olympics/

  • Comment number 26.

    Rio all the way! If such a city in a major country cannot win the games this time, better rename Olympics to Coca-Cola freak sport show (with golf, darts, Texas hold 'em, and video games as sports) and organize it in Disneyworld. Despite all the propaganda for Chicago, it is among my least favourite cities on Earth (besides Detroit). Those who ever visited the streets south of the Chicago dt area know what I'm talking about.

  • Comment number 27.

    The biggest party in the world is the World Cup.

  • Comment number 28.

    It really is about time that Crewe put in a serious bid - excellent transport links, a ready-built 10,000-seat stadium in Gresty Road, the impressive pre-war Crewe Baths and Queens Park Boating Lake (under refurbishment). Not to mention 12-and-a-half hotel rooms. Regeneration? Just demolish that retail park and rebuild the old Speedway track. But I suppose having 2012 in London puts Crewe at a disadvantage in the strange minds of IOC members.

  • Comment number 29.

    why dont they just rename the olympics the mcdonalds/nike/starbucks sound and light show ?? excuse me but i do recall that there are 170+ countries in the world today.the olympics comes along every 4 years and since 1984 the USA has staged it twice.that is two times out of a possible seven.when chicago buys the next olympiad it will be 3 out of eight.of course it makes perfect sense when you realise that this world is effectively run by big business.

  • Comment number 30.

    I can't think why Detroit have been rejected so many times. Maybe something to do with the fact that people don't want to get shot whilst watching sport??

  • Comment number 31.

    Victorh: As a fellow Brazilian (although not from Rio), I couldn't agree with you more! Hopefully Chicago will take this one! I'm also concerned with the prospects that, even if Rio doesn't get the Olympics this time around, more ridiculous amounts of money will be spent on another bid for 2020, as people are suggesting its possibilities of success... Had we focused all that money and energy on dealing with our real issues, there wouldn't be any discussion about Rio's crime rates...

  • Comment number 32.

    Well, I'm a carioca who supports the Rio 2016, so you can think what you want. But, I'm sure I can give a totally diferent vision about some points.

    1st - for who is complaing about security, I can say that will be a minor problem. The teenaged gangs that Paxmana said won't appear during the event. I'm not being optimistc, it's logical from the Rio's drug gangs way to exist. It's impossible to me explain this logic here because there are some points you, out of Rio, won't understand how the things move here. But I can prove it in a pratical mode. It's only to see what happened at Pan-American Games in 2007, which we hosted.

    2nd - Wilsonatmd, what you said showed me you don't know the city well. There is a very good golf camp only 5km from the future Olympic Village, at Barra zone (Itanhanga Golf Club). If you are not satisfied, there is another just 15km away from the OV (Gavea Country and Golf Club), near Copacabana Zone.
    There isn't 1, but 3 big football stadiums. So we have 1 for the Cerimonies and football finals (Maracana), 1 only for track and field, (Joao Havelange Stadium, nicknamed Engenhao) and 1 only for Rugby, if it will be permitted (Sao Januario stadium).

    3rd - I'm not worried about acommodations. Sydney and Athens had the same problems and the ships resolved it. Here will be the same, our port is located at the City Centre. With the Games, will come the revitalization of the port area, so I don't see any problem at this point.

    4th - The big, very big, problem for me it will be transports. The bid project is concentrated in Barra da Tijuca, a good place. However, because of the geography, the transport is a very difficult problem there and I believe the Bid's plan won't solve much things. Our subway is very good, but it is limited and ours trains are very old.
    To finish, the international airport is very far from Barra and the options from the Airport to the Barra are few. To be exactly, only 1.

    5th - Chicago and Madrid were hit at critical points in the evaluation report. I have my doubts if it was so soft to not change the dinamic of the competiton.

    6th - If this games goes to Chicago, I give up. Sincerely. Chicago began to play dirtly. Until episody at "Law and Order" they did, forgetting Al Capone did everyting at Chicagoland.
    To finish a rower from Brazil was killed at Panam 1959, in Chicago, and until today nobody said how it ocurred. They can't say much about our state after see its south area.

    7th - 2020 can be very late for us...

    Sorry for the long post and the very bad english, but I felt necessity to write this after I saw some comments and 2 cariocas complaining about the Bid.

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm hoping for Rio. Best result all round probably (though Madrid would be better for Europe), and gets the games in a US friendly time zone without going to America for what would be the third time in a generation.

  • Comment number 34.

    I live in Chicago, but I'm pulling for Rio. I think the games would do so much for Brazil, a country on the verge of economic advancement on the global stage. Plus, South America has never hosted them!

    Chicago is astonishingly overrated. There are serious crime problems across its vast south-side neighborhoods, particularly with gang violence and murdered children. The weather is bizarre and extreme. And the transportation infrastructure is abysmal and in no condition to host the Olympics. The city has famously bad road conditions, impossible parking, mind-boggling traffic problems, and a truly lousy mass transit system. It also has O'Hare airport, a gnarled, ugly mess of a place that's notoriously inefficient and difficult to reach. The local government is corrupt, and they have put citizens here through great hardship in the run-up to these games. For example, the mayor has sold all the parking meters in the city to a private firm for quick revenue, which has resulted in much higher rates and an operational debacle. Chicago sales tax is the highest in the nation, yet the city is broke. There is a feeling here that the city is on a major revenue-grab, sticking residents with more fines, tickets, and fees at every turn. Recently, we learned that the majority of residents in Chicago no longer even support the games.

    Plus, why reward the United States for what it has put the world thorough over the past several years? From the derelict mismanagement of our financial system to our aggressive foreign policies, there are plenty of good reasons to look elsewhere.

    Of course there is so much more involved; dare I leave out the money factor. But I'm pulling for Rio. I think it's their time. Chicago had it's moment in the sun with Obama and the remarkable 2008 U.S. election. Go Rio!

  • Comment number 35.

    All is a big cheat,

    Rio and Chicago are the worst proyects

    About Rio
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X7VG6HYkYw

    About Chicago
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ9mX5tUjSc

  • Comment number 36.

    Has to be Rio - as someone who has been there for a considerable amount of time over the last few years, there is a passion to get these games. i've fallen in love with the city - sure it may have its problems, but so does London. If you go to the wrong areas in Rio, you'll have a problem (but of course the advice is not to go to these places, though thousands of tourists ignore this every year, because they get the idea that the favelas are a good place to visit). Security will be beefed up, so as long as tourists/athletes are careful there will be no problems. Only issue I would say would be that August will be Brazilian winter, and quite rainy (though temperatures won't be low). Things are in development for the 2014 football world cup, so the infrastructure and know-how will be there.

    I don't think it should go to Madrid simply because the Olympics were last in Spain in 1992. It's too soon to go back there, plus with 2012 being in London, will the IOC want two games being in the same time zone in a row? I like Madrid as a city, but it just doesn't seem like somewhere you'd want to hold an Olympic games.

    Same goes for Chicago, with Atlanta having hosted the games in 1996. I suspect that the Obama factor may give it that vital swing, I'd be disappointed if so.

    Tokyo would be an interesting one, but there isn't so much general interest there from the general public, and with the government of Japan not necessarily willing to invest so much, it could turn out to be a mistake. Add in the high cost of living over there (even if only for a few weeks whilst the games are on) and it's not such a great choice. That said, Japan is a fantastic country to visit..

    So in conclusion, has to be Rio, if for nothing else than being a new place on the Olympic venue list... Sadly i've got money on it being Chicago.

  • Comment number 37.

    I live in Madrid. I have visited Rio many times. I hope Rio win.

  • Comment number 38.

    TexRex96, #34, seems right in one respect:
    The newish Chicago O'Hare airport looks nice in places (artwork in the under-passes), but has lost my baggage twice when flying internationally. Other passengers have told me this is quite common for international flights through Chicago.

    But Chicago mayor Richard M Daley, "Who said that hosting the 2014 football World Cup was not the same as hosting the Games", is spot on in a way he may not have realised:
    Along with a few billion other other people, I intend to watch the football world cup out of enjoyment, not because I can't escape the TV coverage.

    The most interesting part of the London Olympic-games (for me) has already gone, (i.e. beating the French in the bid process :)

    International construction-companies, and land-owners around London, will be having a rather more extended orgasm, but British taxpayers for this 'economic-stimulus' will have a long hangover.

    If there is a real market for synchronised-swimming (or any of the other events), then why not just concentrate on the synchronised-swimming world cup?
    How many football supporters would seriously care about winning an Olympic gold medal in football? They already know what the real competition is.


    Next up: "Legacy"
    When I went to Barcelona for the first time 3 or 4 years ago I remember thinking
    "Yes, possibly the most beautiful city in the world. Just what I expected. Shame about that old pile of Olympic junk though. I bet that wasn't designed by Gaudi (Le-Corbusier, more likely)."
    It just looked like another concrete monument to the wastefulness of human vanity.

    Do the Olympics foster good-will among nations?
    I don't think so.
    Their tone seems calculated to heighten nationalistic fervor on TV programmes that I've seen (in the English-speaking world). And they have pleny of history as being used as a football (pardon the pun!) in global politics.

    I think it's time this charade was wound-up, and put out of our misery...

  • Comment number 39.

    My god frogstar lighten up!! Stop being so British!

    If you don't want to come then dno't come, feel free to stay at home complaining about taxes and the government on the BBC websites. We won't miss you in the Olympic Stadium. If you aren't interested then stay at home!

    So we have the opportunity to welcome the world to London for an incredible festival of sport. Why not get behind something that will create so much excitement and joy for a few months of 2012 and the build up.

    Or would you rather we were just constantly miserable and never bothered to try something?!?

    Not having the games won't make us any more financially well off or happy. Are you just looking for an excuse to moan?


    This typical British attitude of being more comfortable when negative and miserable is ridiculous.

    It's going to be an incredible games. We are not Barcelona, we are London.

  • Comment number 40.

    This bidding process is interesting in that all four candidate cities have what would normally be at least one fatal problem:

    Chicago - Atlanta '96 is in recent memory.

    Madrid - 3 consecutive games in Europe

    Tokio - Too close to and too similar to Beijing

    Rio - Security and, overall, not a strong bid

    I live in Madrid and have visited Chicago recently. My feeling is that although Madrid is gung-ho for the Games, they understand that realistically they have no chance. Consecutive summer Games in Western European capitals would be a very tough call to make.

    Rio has a weak bid. Only the fact that Doha was fouled-out allowed Rio in through the back door. Despite the fact that the city is the romantic choice and has the sympathy of most neutrals, it would be unfair to place them higher than much better bids. Chicago has the handicap of the Atlanta Games in recent memory and the pretty chaotic New York bid for 2012, quite apart from the fact that the USA gets the Games far too often. It is a very nice city, far from the dark image of the '30s up to the '60s, with large green spaces and beautiful views, but the people said that of Atlanta too.

    By elimination, I just wonder if Tokio might get through as the bid that is least disliked by a minority large enough to block a bid - in other words, it may not be many people's first choice, but may be the second choice of enough delegates to win through. Tokio is not Rio, but might just be exotic enough.

  • Comment number 41.

    Over the past 60 years of olympics the worthy games have been in Melbourne; Rome; Tokyo; Montreal; Seoul and Sydney. In contrast to them, Mexico City was ruined by deadly riots; Munich couldn't stop terrorism; Moscow and Los Angeles respectively promoted political propaganda ahead of the olympic ideal; Barcelona was constantly polluted; Atlanta was a concrete jungle of ugly freeways; Athens featured near-empty venues because the common people boycotted the event for political reasons and Beijing was a steel trap of security that locked out its own people. The lesson in this is that you don't give the olympics to super-powers; nor to cities that suffer from significant industrial pollution; nor do you give it to politically volatile countries. This leaves the IOC with only one choice: Tokyo. But Tokyo has had it before, so its chances are slim. Hence, the only option is Rio De Janiero. There is a risk in giving it to volatile Rio, but it is a risk that has to be taken if the olympics is to extend its reach into the developing world...and especially because, apart from in Australia, the olympics has never been held in the southern hemisphere.

  • Comment number 42.

    Why should Tokyo be excluded because it had the Games more than 40 years ago? London has received the Games 3 times (1908, 1948 and 2012), intervals of 40 and 64 years, compared to 52 for Tokyo.

    By this argument, London, Paris and Moscow should never even have been considered for 2012.

  • Comment number 43.

    "By this argument, London, Paris and Moscow should never even have been considered for 2012." (Cricketing Stargazer)

    Paris and London are fine because they are central, although not ideal. Moscow is ok too because Russia is no longer a super-power.
    If Tokyo get 2016 it is no real problem for me...I still much prefer Rio for reasons stated above, however. The IOC needs to take a risk with a developing country of the south. A pity Lagos didn't bid. The alternative is to hold the games in the same city every time that is a proven performer and relatively calm. By that reasoning, it would be Sydney because it ticked all the boxes. Otherwise, shut the whole idea down for good.

  • Comment number 44.

    No. You said that Tokyo has no chance because it has already had the Games. Is there a ban on cities that have held them getting them again? If so, why were London, Paris and Moscow all in the final vote for 2012?

    Super-Power or not should not be an issue. And the costs and administrative problems of holding the games will make it very difficult for cities like Lagos to hold them. Why do you think that there have been so few candidates from Africa??? Or from Asia? Or South America?

  • Comment number 45.

    Very hard to see it going against Chicago. If a US bid is in the frame, commercial reasons mean it wins.

  • Comment number 46.

    TexRex96, You're not making any sence at all. You say Chicago's transportation infrastracture is abysmal and in no condition to host the Olympics yet you're rooting for Rio? Again, you have a problem with the crime in Chicago but you pick Rio where the murder rate is more than 4 times that of Chicago. Your reasoning has no credibility because if it did you'd pick Tokyo or Madrid. Anyway, Chicago is not at all overrated, if anything, it is largely underrated. Yeah crime is a problem but that's only for some pocketed areas of the city, but overall, it's a pretty safe city. As for O'hare airport, it is the 2nd and sometimes the busiest airport in the world and no it's not perfect but better than most, especially Rio's. We also have Midway international airport which is nicer and closer to the city. Oh, and don't forget about the other 2 airports in the other surrounding cities. Also, O'hare is in the middle of a huge expansion which will be completed before 2016. Chicago's sales tax might be the highest but the the city is not the most expensive so things kind of equals out. Curruption is probably your only valid point but what city isn't corrupted somehow? this whole country was founded on corruption and is still corrupted. Like all the major cities in America, there aren't many places to park in the city center unless you're willing to pay so quit crying about parking. If you want a place to park your SUV then I suggest you move to the suburbs or learn to ride a bike or walk or even take a cab.
    How do you figure most Chicagoans don't want the games when the poll you're refering to said 47% for and 45% against? The poll was also biased because they didn't really asked if Chicagoans wanted the games. They asked If Chicagoans wanted the games assuming they had to pick the tab. Zogby International also did a poll in late September that showed 72% of Chicagoans backed the bid as well as 84% Americans but I never hear any of you naysayers mention those numbers becuase you people choose to believe what you want to.
    Why award the games to the United States? I honestly think the games should go where they're best fit this time around. Just because We had a clueless president for the past 8 years doesn't mean the people of this country should have to be eternally cast out for his mistakes. Mr. Bush is history so move on already.
    Anyway, my vote is for Chicago. I think our bid is the best the U.S has ever put forth. Our bid is not perfect but it's certainly one of the best of the four bids. Technically, I think Tokyo may have the best bid but we all know Tokyo's biggest problem. If Chicago doesn't get the games then I think the technically best bid should win and that's Tokyo. Tokyo has the experience, the best transportation and the place is almost crime free. Rio on the other, I think has the worst bid and I don't think they're ready. I have nothing against Rio but I just don't think they're up to the challenge yet, especially since they have their hands tide up with the 2014 World Cup.

 

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