The Race for 2016: Chicago out in Round 1, Tokyo in Round 2, by Larry Eder



Copenhagen, Denmark 10.30 AM CST

In a shocking development, the Chicago 2016 bid was eliminated from the final four bids in Copenhagen in the first round. The 105 IOC delegates gave a clear message in round one, eliminating Chicago, and in round two, eliminating Tokyo. The voting in round three will be down to Rio and Madrid. What will make the difference are the supporters of Tokyo and Chicago and who they will go to support.

Most prognosticators thought that Chicago had picked up some momentum in the past few weeks. The presence of Michelle and President Barack Obama, with great presentations, could not overcome the winds of change. How should the U.S. read this?

Well, Chicago 2016 did have a lot to overcome. More than anything, the USOC's continued soap opera like activities (read Peyton Place), and their current managements misreading of global sports politics caused Chicago some issues. The USOC suggesting an Olympic cable network, was one of worst misreads of
the feelings about USOC arrogance in particular. Lesson number 568 in local politics, national politics and global sports politics-if the people who need to vote for you consider too arrogant to consider, then you have an issue. The USOC needs to do some soul searching. Perception is reality.

In the coming days, the word will get out about what went wrong with the Chicago 2016 bid. I think that President Obama and Michelle Obama did a great job. The President and Michelle Obama did a stirring job in promoting Chicago and the United States earlier this morning. This might have been a fait accompli.

The IOC delegates are a fascinating bunch. The IOC espouses, and the IOC delegates obviously "drink the water", that global sports, such as the Olympics, are one of the few ways the world can come together. They believe that by giving Beijing the Olympics in 2008, that they played a huge part in opening the world to China!

Chicago 2016 was a good bid, their presentation was strong, but the opportunity for the Olympics to "open" another continent, as in South America, to the Olympic movement may prove just too much to resist. Does an Olympics change a country?
Look at London 2012. The support of British sports, from athletics, to badmitton, has increased. London 2012 is creating a legacy for sports, and trying to instill the need for fitness and sport to a new generation. I hope that Chicago bids once again, perhaps for a World Championships!

Tokyo 2016 was eliminated in the second round. Again, a strong bid, but with Beijing in 2008, perhaps two Olympics out of three in Asia were considered too much.

Now it is down to Rio and Madrid. Madrid is making a strong bid, and it is supported by former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. If there is a man who knows sports geo politics, it is Senor Samaranch.

How does the process work? One delegate, one vote. In round one, the city with the least votes is out. Chicago was out in round one, because it had the least votes.
In round two, Tokyo had the least votes. Now for the decision: Rio or Madrid.

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