2016 Olympic decision due in 14 days
It was over 4 years ago that IOC president Jacques Rogge called out London's name
as the host city for the 2012 Olympics, and it will be the same man who will announce which city from a shortlist of Rio de Janeiro
will host the 2016 Olympics following the voting of the 107 International Olympic Committee members in Denmark in 14 days time.
We all know the the choosing of Olympic cities is generally a political gallimaufry of political pay-off's and pay-backs but the Chicago delegation to be led by Michelle Obama will be in Copenhagen on October 2nd with as much chance as their rivals to win the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic games over a 6-week period in the summer of 2016.
The 107 IOC members vote by secret ballot, with the candidate getting the fewest votes eliminated in each round until one city secures a winning majority. London as you will hopefully happily remember beat Paris by four votes when decided in July 2005.
I think there is still an outside chance that President Obama will show in Copenhagen for the decision, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Spanish King Juan Carlos are both attending and Japan's new Prime Minster Yukio Hatoyama is being urged to go. President Obama stated that urgent US Healthcare reforms need to take precedent so is sending his wife instead. Mind you Mrs Obama, or the First Lady as she is now called, is an impassioned speaker and a Chicagoan through and through and I would hope her more natural character will win over voters more so than stuffy career politicans.
Rogge said there are no favourites and it will be close. "I think the final vote will be decided by a couple of votes only."
, an authoritive website which examines the bidding process showed Chicago lagging slightly behind the emotional favourites Rio de Janeiro in the race - the Games have never been in South America. Paris in 2005 were also the favourites if you remember, and I know that Chicago's 2016 Committee are more than happy not to be out front in the running.
Chicago's plan is for nearly all of the venues
to be located in the heart of downtown using Lake Michigan as a dramatic backdrop but in Chicago for sure the feeling amongst locals is mixed. Whose going to pay for it? Will the city make a financial guarantee
to cover potential losses? What are the environmental issues? Is it just one big ploy to keep the Mayor
in office for another term? What about the antiquated transportation system? Just some of the questions being asked but like the majority I really hope Chicago gets it, especially rather selfishly after London hosts the Games four years before.
I actually reckon President Obama will make it to Copenhagen on October 2nd and he, his wife and the Chicago team will help open the IOC's eyes to credibly one of the most stunning Olympic venues the world will have ever seen.