Free Markets, Free People

Why Did The US Olympic Bid Fail?

Commenter Steverino asks:

I’m wondering just what relations the Bush admin had with the IOC to begin with.

It’s very convenient to blame Bush for this, and I expect that will be the talking point for this issue.

Of course it will. But it is a point without merit. There are several reasons the US didn’t get the bid. But I think the primary reason was it was simply Brazil and South America’s turn. IOC president Jacques Rogge, speaking of the Brazilian effort said, “There was absolutely no flaw in the bid.”

As for the American bid, and speaking of Barack and Michelle Obama, French IOC member Guy Drut had this to say:

“He didn’t do too much. Michelle Obama was exceptional.”

In fact it appears that President Obama’s visit may have been counter-productive:

Drut said “an excess of security” for the Obamas unsettled some of his committee colleagues. He complained that he’d been barred from crossing the lobby of his hotel for security reasons, and he grumbled that “nothing has been done” to resolve the financial disputes between the IOC and the USOC.

[...]

“This morning the city was closed because of Barack Obama,” he added.

Note the other point in the comments of Drut – financial disputes between the IOC and USOC. Never a good thing when trying to get another Olympic games in your country.

But it appears the “excess of security” may have not been well received by a number of the delegates.

And, there was this:

Former IOC member Kai Holm said the brevity of Obama’s appearance — he was in and out in five hours — may have counted against Chicago.

“Too businesslike,” Holm said. “It can be that some IOC members see it as a lack of respect.”

A sort of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation. Had he not showed up, I’m sure IOC members would have seen that as a “lack of respect” as well. Of course that didn’t stop them from flocking to Obama for pictures during his 5 hour stay.

And last, but certainly not least:

[T]he IOC’s last two experiences in the United States were bad: the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics were sullied by a bribery scandal and logistical problems and a bombing hit the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

So, excess security may have caused many IOC members heartburn, some felt the president’s short stay showed a lack of respect, his pitch seems to have fallen flat, the IOC and USOC have financial disputes, and the previous two experiences with Olympic games in the US were not the best experiences for the IOC.

Plus it was just South America’s time!

But Bush – huh uh. Roland Burris notwithstanding, the failure of the bid seem to have had zip to do with him. Unlike Democrats, the rest of the world seems to have accepted that Bush is gone.

~McQ

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10 Responses to Why Did The US Olympic Bid Fail?

  • To be honest, I could care less why Chicago didn’t get the Olympics. I am just thrilled that The Clown™ did not come back with this victory in his cap.

    And I could care less if the Left thinks that that is anti-American. To them, I say, let me bend over so you can kiss my big fat white butt.

    • Being against corrupt machine politicians having a chance to wet their beaks off a multi-billion boondoggle? Yeah, sounds anti-American to me!

  • “And last, but certainly not least:

    [T]he IOC’s last two experiences in the United States were bad: the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics were sullied by a bribery scandal and logistical problems and a bombing hit the 1996 Games in Atlanta.”

    I wonder how they’d compare the Atlanta games with the 1972 Munich games?

    And wasn’t Clintoon in charge during 1996?

    And wasn’t the bribery scandal surrounding Slat Lake Cuity a matter of Olympic committee members ACCEPTING bribes?

  • I would bet that any “security” trouble the delegates felt in Copenhagen would only remind them about the TSA / US Customs and how much it is a pain to fly into the USA.

  • And wasn’t the bribery scandal surrounding Salt Lake City a matter of Olympic committee members ACCEPTING bribes?

    Yes. I said when Obama left that he would need a thick wallet to make all the proper payoffs.
    It is amazing though that a politician so finely tuned in “Chicago Politics” wouldn’t know that.
    Only goes to show just out unconnected to reality that “The Won” seems to be.

  • From the reading I’ve done, it does seem as if the reason was politics. But not US politics, as much as IOC politics. Apparently Obama didn’t spend his time running around glad handing every official in the area and making personal pitches to them. He was not there very long, and his security (and entourage?) was somewhat disruptive.

    It may simply be that the IOC membership felt it wasn’t properly kowtowed to by the President. A bit ironic, perhaps.

  • The big winners are the taxpayers of Chicago. Can you imagine how long they would be paying for this boondoggle? By the time all the payola, union thuggery, sweetheart deals were made, the cost would be astronomical.

    It would completely disorganize the city for a summer. Some local business would do well, but it is only a one shot thing, not a way to help you stay in business. I would NOT want one in my city.

  • “So, excess security may have caused many IOC members heartburn”

    Probably. It approaches the ridiculoous. I predict that soon some country will politely decline the offer of a Presidential visit due to it.

    On the other hand, Denmark’s internatioal reputation as a hotbed of hotheads and terrorists justifies such measures. And, since they probably don’t fluoridate their water, bringing along some Presidential water is justified.

    I wonder if they allow smoking near the President, or if a Presidential no smoking zone surrounds him wherever he goes, like a halo or nimbus.