Friday, February 20, 2009

Local Scandals and the 2016 Bid

Whenever something controversial happens in Chicago these days, people are quick to question the effects it will have on the cities Olympic bid. Whether it's Blagojevich's recent exploits, the CTA's budget issues or a man dying at the Chicago Marathon two years ago cynics are quick to pounce on these issues.

The Chicago Tribune has a great opinion piece today putting these local 'controversies' in context as compared to other Olympic scandals:
If the International Olympic Committee can see fit to have the Summer Games take place in Germany while Adolf Hitler is dictator, it's hard to believe the latest Illinois gubernatorial dust-up registers on its radar screen.

The Nazis had risen to power in 1931, when the event was awarded to Germany, and subsequent years leading to 1936 saw Hitler illegally—and publicly—declare the Treaty of Versailles void, books burned, anti-Jewish laws codified, Dachau opened, and, just for good measure, the Rhineland invaded by his troops and reclaimed.
The article goes on to cite additional examples where major global controversies accompanied the Olympics in Moscow, Motreal, Seoul and most recently Beijing.

Although we don't want you to think we're minimizing the importance of our local scandals, in all honesty they're probably not big enough (from a global standpoint) to influence the Olympic bidding process. I wonder how many IOC members even know who Blagojevich is?

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