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.