Friday, October 2, 2009

Brazilian Whacks

Despite an unprecedented effort by President Obama, his wife, Oprah, et al to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago, it was the first candidate city knocked out of contention by the IOC today. (I'm guessing that a week of high-school kids being beat to death on YouTube may not have screamed "host city".) The pro-lympics contingent contended that the games would have been a boon to the local economy in the form of construction jobs and increased revenue from global tourism to our fair city. However, the civic pride that we would have felt now would have completely dissipated by the time 2016 rolled around and hard reality had set in. Chicago is a city whose infrastructure is already under immense financial strain and the Olympics are historically known for plunging host cities into colossal debt, to say nothing of the attendant graft and corruption. Mayor Daley's usual shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach to city government thankfully met with greater resistance on the global stage, a clear sign that President Obama is not a silver bullet rendering anti-American sentiment inert. We're already hosting an unpopular war on multiple fronts and our financial institutions are being blamed for leading the world to the brink of financial ruin; there was no way that an international committee would see fit to entrust us with those colored rings. The fact that we were "shocked" to be eliminated illustrates how clueless we continue to be about the world's perception of us. Besides- with thousands of bikini-clad Brazilian girls in attendance, I may actually watch the Olympics for once.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I was in Atlanta for the 1996 Games, and I can say from first hand experience that hosting is not all it's cracked up to be.

The city as a whole needs to focus on the problems at home. Setting Chicago on the international stage would only shove those issues aside, allowing them to fester and creating larger problems in the long run.