Rio it is
I can't begrudge Rio it's month in the sun but Chicago getting eliminated
in the first round will take some time to digest. The IOC is of course a tight group of old white men with grudges, more so since most of them were found to be on the fiddle after the Salt Lake Olympics. Not even the most influential broadcaster or knowledgable Games observers could work out who was going to win the vote but the collective gasps around the Copenhagen auditorium said it all.
For the thousands in Daley Plaza (photo) and I had a couple of mates down there today, there was a look utter shock and embarrasment on their faces when Jacques Rogge made the announcement. Following it on the BBC
the talk was of a typically impassioned speech from President Obama, but an even more heartfelt one from his wife Michelle. However it was said the rest of Chicago's final pitch was a bit flat. Sadly it will now be the word embarrasment that will be doing the political rounds in the United States amongst Obama's opponents.
The emotive vote was for Rio though and if it couldn't have been Chicago, then what better place to hold a party. Congratulations to them on what will be a sparkling two years of sport with the World Cup there in 2014. And think how cool London's closing ceremony in 2012 will be with the added spice of the Copacabana thrown in.
Tokyo's final presentation was unsurprisingly described as efficient whereas Madrid backed by the IOC political might of Juan Antonio Samaranch and with most of their venues already complete along with their experience of 4 years ago was obviously a fine bid, but when the likelihood of Europe hosting three Olympics on the spin is practically zero, those IOC members who voted for Madrid (28) over Chicago (18) in the first round wasted their vote.
After that it was Rio all the way
as Tokyo dropped out in Round two and then in the final round Rio claimed more than twice the vote over the Spanish capital.
As for the Chicago 2016's bid it's chairman and my old boss Patrick Ryan
and Chicago's mayor Richard Daley, 2020 is probably a stretch for them to consider another crack at hosting, especially if the unwritten rule of continent switching continues. Many Chicagoans will be happy this afternoon that their summer in 2016 will be unaffected but hopefully some of the bid's plans to modernise the city will continue. It is a sad day for Chicago but it ain't called the city of big shoulders for nothing.