The IOC eliminated Chicago and Tokyo from the final four contenders, making it Rio vs. Madrid. Looking only at geography, I’d call their final decision logical. Asia just had the games in Peking, and the US has hosted many Olympics over the years. Of the two finalists, I’d have leaned toward Rio also, since the South American continent has never hosted an Olympics.
This, of course, is not what the American media are buzzing about. No, to them the issue is whether President Obama was right or wrong to have gone to Copenhagen to promote a Chicago Olympics. The conservatives are aghast that our President would waste time on such a junket, apparently forgetting that George Bush thought nothing of spending three or four days watching the Olympics in Peking as a mere spectator. The liberals thought it only natural that Obama, like other heads of state, try to bring the Olympics and the accompanying jobs to his country.
Well, Rio got the games. Depending on your point of view, Obama either failed miserably and has egg on his face or made a reasonable effort to bring home the bacon — nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that sort of thing.
On this one, folks, I’m just a sports fan. I love the Olympics. I think they are a coup for any country who gets to host them and a wonderful reward to the athletes for their years of training and preparation. Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s all terribly political. Most of the athletes are pros. Yada, yada. I still like to view it as an international sporting event, period. It’s not easy, but I try.
Anyway, I was asking myself which of the four final cities I’d most like to visit as an Olympics fan and spectator. No contest. Rio. The warmth, color, and rhythm of Latin culture. The beauty of the city and the setting. The beach. Carnival!
Way to go, Rio!