Friday, September 25, 2009

The Olympic Host City Voting Process; Rio's Empty Promises

As we wait to see if Obama is going to Copenhagen for the Olympic vote next week, there is a ton of articles about the race. Although most aren't new news, today we found a good read on ESPN that summarizes the voting process and offers some insight on conventional thinking:
Ninety-nine of the IOC's 106 members are eligible to vote in the first round (members from countries with bid cities can't vote while their candidate is still in contention).

The city receiving the fewest votes is eliminated after each round until one candidate secures a majority. The vote is expected to go the maximum three rounds.

Some members tend to vote out of sympathy in the first round, which can produce some surprises. The key to victory is picking up votes from the cities which go out.

If Tokyo were to go out in the first round, it is believed many of its votes would go to Chicago. If Madrid goes out, the consensus is they would go to Rio.

The last sentence is interesting and is something we just read for the first time. We think they're implying that Asian countries have less animosity towards the United States then European ones, but who knows.

Anyway, it's safe to say that experts are predicting that the race is between Rio and Chicago. At this point, if you don't know the criticisms of Chicago's bid, you must be living under a rock. However, we don't hear as much about Rio's negatives. Time magazine's website has an interesting article on the empty promises of Rio's 'successful' 2007 Pan American games:
Winning the 2007 Pan American games was considered a big, if sometimes chaotic, success for Rio. To triumph over rival bidder San Antonio, officials used the same argument that this was Rio's turn. To back that up they promised to transform the city with a new ring road system, something called a "via light" railway (presumably a light railway), a new state highway and 54 km of new metro line.

But none of the roads and not one kilometer of proposed metro lines was built. Authorities also promised to clean up the Guanabara Bay, the fetid body of water whose smell assails visitors driving into town from the international airport. Although hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, the stench persists and the bay remains a stinking eyesore.
If you think Rio has it in the bag, read the article. Neither city is perfect...we're looking forward to the coverage next week.

(Olympic image from 121st IOC Session & XII Olympic Congress in Copenhagen website)


Uptight Caucasian said...

I hope the IOC takes a look at the video shot outside of Fenger HS on Friday afternoon showing what the real Chicago is like prior to voting. These are the animals running loose on the south side of Chicago. These are the animals who live on the doorsteps of the Olympic Stadium. More importantly, these are the animals that can get on a red or green line train and be at the Roosevelt El stop within 10 minutes. Why worry about foreign terrorists when we have the youth of Chicago.

Anonymous said...

yeah and Rio is safer maybe you should travel and see for yourself what Rio is like.

Anonymous said...

So your solution is to wall off and segregate communities from Mass transit? Yes that is the same policy that the Democratic leaders of this city have been following for 50+ years; does not seam to work well.

Also points to the hypocrisy of the likes of Obama, Carter, Clinton claiming those opposed to the Obama healthcare policy are racists, while at the same time, they have either led or stood silent to the vast failed urban policies (education, public housing, transit, immigration havens, entitlement programs, govt pension explosion ) that have led to the many problems in Democratically controlled cities suffering like Detroit, Cleveland, LA, Newark, and to a point Chicago.

Where are the marches about the kids being killed in these areas? I am shocked by the lack of outrage; yet there would be time for a march if Don Imus makes some stupid comments.

Anonymous said...

Uptight Caucasian, Haha go travel or at least watch Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel. The "gangs" in this city or this country for that matter doesn't compare to the criminals you'd see in less developed countries. Here criminals are pampered and out there it's basically savages.

Crimate rate per 100,000
Rio de Janeiro - 38
Chicago - 15.6

Anonymous said...

Crime rate per 100,000
Rio de Janeiro - 38
Chicago - 15.6

Uptight Caucasian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

While I am not a fan of violence in Chicago or any city for that matter I fail to see why this is a sound argument for why we shouldn't have the Olympics. Most if not all major cities struggle with some sort of violence. Wouldn't washington park and the surrounding area benefit from greater scrutiny and media exposure, tourist dollars, injection of development, fed money etc.. that would come with the olympics. I mean, it would certainly be better than nothing. That's not to say at all that the problems of low educational attainment, gangs, and poverty will vanish. I just think having the olympics is better than nothing. Take a look at google maps or take a stroll through the neighborhood and you can see entire city blocks cleared of apartments and houses west of the park. A little redevelopment and further media attention could go a long way in some of the more impoverished communities.

reality said...

Not arguing that we shouldn't have the Olympics (I'm actually VERY much in favor of Chicago hosting); however, just pointing out that Chicago is receiving a TON of negative pub around the world right now due to the out-of-control and unacceptable street violence.