03 Blue 07

October 2nd, 2009 at 11:33 AM ^

...bummed. I was concerned, though, about how many of Daley's cronies were going to get their hands in the till. But at the same time, would've been lots of dollars flowing through the city in the form of projects, etc, with lots of opportunities to get MY hands in the till. Ha. And besides that, I just love Chicago and wanted to see the Olympics here so the world could see how it's a great city. I'm not arrogant enough to say "the world already knows/should know." I am sure we'd have done a killer job, and it would have been a cool thing for the city like the world's fair 100 years ago, etc. Oh well.


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:51 AM ^

I was planning on drawing up the leasing papers for my condo in East Lakeview after the 11:30 announcement. I definitely wanted the city to get it - just doing the tried and true coping mechanism of stating all the reasons the Olympics would have sucked.

For scout.com readers, think of it as TJB's "dodged a bullet when the 4 star guy chose ND over UM" line.

edit: and honestly, I think we all know why Chicago's bid failed. It's not because MJ didn't show up. It's because the midwest's greatest athlete and ambassador wasn't invited - Zoltan, Chicago is sorry.

Sgt. Wolverine

October 2nd, 2009 at 12:46 PM ^

You know, I always wondered how Lake Placid managed to get two Olympics. But I got to visit the city this summer (for the Ironman), and I no longer have to wonder. I'm now looking forward to going back again next summer (when my brother will actually be competing in the Ironman -- this visit was just to sign up). It's a great city. It's in the middle of nowhere, but it's a great city.

It's fun to see the photos of the two Olympics they hosted and to see the differences between the Olympics of the 1930s and the 1980s. Both ice arenas are still standing in the middle of the city, and it's remarkable to see how the expectations changed over fifty years. The 1930s Olympic ice arena is about as big as any average local ice arena now.

Also fun: visiting the site of the Miracle on Ice.


October 2nd, 2009 at 2:25 PM ^

I missed the iron man this year (as a spectator of course.)

My parents have a house in LP, it's a fun town. Surprising diverse group of people up there. What I tell people is, if you hate it, you can always drive and hour and a half to Montreal.

Just kidding (sort of) but the lake is awesome, and if you go in winter, you can go bobsledding!


October 2nd, 2009 at 3:04 PM ^

the winter Olympics have traditionally been held in small villages. It should be surprising given that most skiing resorts are small villages.

I seem to recall that SLC was the first large town to host a winter games. And that the IOC intends on having the winter games held in larger cities going forward. Hence, Vancouver this year.

Sgt. Wolverine

October 2nd, 2009 at 3:57 PM ^

I was surprised at how packed the town gets for the Ironman; it's a much bigger event than I thought. We ended up staying at a hotel over an hour away in Canton. But it was fun to see the whole crazy deal and the crazy people who subject themselves to the Ironman. The winner last year -- a German guy -- finished in eight and a half hours and crossed the line looking like he could run a few more miles, no problem.

What was weird for us was the LP post office building: it's almost exactly the same as the old post office building in our hometown in Michigan (which the USPS just moved out of last week). The only significant visible difference was the color of the brick. Ours was built during the depression, so I'm sure there are (or were) hundreds of those same post office buildings across the nation; I just hadn't seen another one until LP. The first sight of such a familiar building in an unfamiliar location was a little strange.


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:34 AM ^

That's a shame. Could have used the employment for infrastructure. Do we really need the Olympics in Tokyo or Rio? The follow on from London should be someplace newer and more exciting.


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:39 AM ^

As a former Chicagoan, I'm disappointed (although as someone who still pays taxes there, not TOO disappointed), but to answer your question - we do need an Olympics in Rio. It's crazy that there hasn't been a summer games in South America, and you can't reasonably argue that Rio isn't an "exciting" venue. Or that it isn't new.

Tokyo on the other hand? No. [edited to add: Toyko got the boot as I was posting this]


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:56 AM ^

Given that I have tons of family in Mumbai, yes. :)

I certainly see you point, and Rio does have lots of slums. It isn't ALL slums though. The city is developing, and deserves an opportunity to showcase and improve itself. The IOC obviously thinks it can do so, and assuming that Rio gets the bid, hopefully the IOC is correct.


October 2nd, 2009 at 12:28 PM ^

is true for Chicago and Atlanta also. Take a walk around the poorer neighbourhoods there and it is obvious that poverty and violence is not that hard to find.

The near fatal beatings of two school seniors in just the past two weeks has just brought national attention to this.

03 Blue 07

October 2nd, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

Thank you, Blue Voix. My sentiments exactly. Trust me- Chicago has all kinds of poverty, etc. But that's using the United States definition. People still have a pot to piss in. We don't have death squads.

Also, get your facts straight, even though they don't help my point. It WAS a fatal beating of one student by other students in the street. I've watched the video. It was sickening. Regardless, see below.

From Wikipedia:
Rio de Janeiro's low paid and ill-equipped police are violent as well, it has been said.[83] In 2007, the police allegedly killed 1,330 people in the state,[84] an increase of 25 percent over 2006 when 1,063 people were killed, in 2003 that number plateaued at 1,195. In comparison the American police killed only 347 people in whole of the United States during 2006.[85][86] The average Rio policeman earns only R$874 a month or R$10,488 (around US$6,000) a year.[87]

Magnum P.I.

October 2nd, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

There's disagreement in the research as to how the Olympics affects a country's economy, but for poor people in developing countries--who don't pay taxes anyway and hardly benefit from social services--there is more to gain from a massive influx of cash, employment, and consumers.

That said, if you're worried about violence, check out the World Cup next summer. I'm trying to go, but I'll stick to Cape Town. I don't care what kind of security measures they employ, I'm not going out in Johannesburg at night! Good luck with that South Africa.


October 2nd, 2009 at 1:51 PM ^

does have plenty of slums or favelas as they call them. But I have to say that i have been there on business and the city is beautiful as are the people. I have never been anywhere with people as fit as the Brazilians. The second I got of the plan and took a taxi into town, I realized everyone was on the beach and this was on a week day at noon. Of course beaches line all of Rio. The weather is awesome, it is cheap to visit and the food is great. I can definitely see why the Olympics would want to go there. Of course it is not a large place so it will be tight quarters. And as in most South American countries don't drink the water : )


October 2nd, 2009 at 12:28 PM ^

One of my favorite cities. I would be pretty damn excited if the Olympics were there. We Americans are the only ones who get scared shitless about this "ooh, that place is dangerous" nonsense. While Americans sit at home frozen by paranoia (or maybe summon up the courage to follow the well-trodden path to Europe and back...whoopdie-fuckin'-do), the rest of the world laughs at us as they get to experience this globe for what it really is: a welcoming, generally safe, and awe-inspiring place.

...except for Somalia. Cross Mogadishu 2020 off my list of Olympic cities I'm excited about.

Note: Brody, this isn't meant as a jab at you or an assumption about you - it's just a general observation that happened to be prompted by your post.


October 2nd, 2009 at 12:32 PM ^

I'm not sure I agree that we're the only people in the world who think of other places as dangerous. When I in London, for example, most people wouldn't ride the buses at night let alone go to Mumbai or Rio. Assuming all non-Americans are adventure seekers willing to venture into the Thai jungles alone is the same as assuming all Americans are paranoid isolationists.

The crime rate in Rio is absurdly high. I guarantee there will be some tragic deaths during the Olympics. That's not a good thing.


October 2nd, 2009 at 12:43 PM ^

been to the city... but let's not pretend this is an isolated-Americans issue.

Rio's gotta a damn high murder rate. Period. That's not American fear, that's crime statistics.


"Rio alone was singled out as facing safety challenges, though the report praised Brazilian officials for reducing crime and adding community policing programs.

The city's homicide rate dropped to 33 per 100,000 people last year from 39 per 100,000 the year before, and authorities expect the rate to continue falling despite a homicide spike from April through June.

While last year's rate was the lowest in 17 years, it is much higher than the rate for Rio's competitors. Chicago's was 18 per 100,000 in 2008, up from 16 a year earlier. Madrid's was flat at 2 per 100,000 for both years, and Tokyo's was 1 per 100,000 both years."

Just saying. Chicago's homicide rate is far too high... and yet Rio's, the lowest it's been in 17 years, nearly doubles it. I'm not saying that should play a role - if Rio gets the games, hopefully a lot of the money goes towards security, and the capital investment produces some economic gains for the poor (unlikely, but hopefully).


October 2nd, 2009 at 1:34 PM ^

No idea, and definitely reasonable to be suspicious, but given that Rio was a bid city and finalist (and now winner), I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that the rates were met with some amount of scrutiny, maybe not.

bcsblue - I stupidly erased my post. But it's clear to me that you're not actually from Detroit (again, if so, maybe we were neighbors?). You rip Chicago for being historically racist, and then lay a shot on Detroit (no one would talk about Detroit being AMAZING, blah blah blah).

So in two posts, you exhibit little understanding of Detroit's view on the racial divide by ignorantly suggesting Chicago's history is unique (it's viewed a lot different inside 8 mile and Telegraph than it is outside) AND you slap Detroit a bit. Nice.

As someone born and raised in Detroit who now calls Chicago my home, I will say this - all cities have flaws, Detroit more than most, and segregation and racism have left an ugly legacy in virtually every city - North and South. But Chicago's a hell of a town, and your posts have successfully (congrats) been inflammatory and dumb. Shame on me for biting.


October 2nd, 2009 at 12:44 PM ^

Totally agree on the generalizations. I know plenty of adventurous Americans just as I've met scared people abroad. But it's striking how comparatively few non-business American travelers one finds in countries like Colombia, South Africa, or Jordan. In general, I find much higher percentages of people hailing from the U.K. and mainland Europe (not to mention Australasia, Canada, and Israel) are willing to explore off the beaten track.

Colombia is perhaps the most striking example. It's essentially in our backyard. It's cheap, it's beautiful. Cartagena is one of the most magical cities I've ever visited. And yet, 90% of the travelers I met there were from Europe. When I told my friends and family I was going there, they were certain that Colombia of the '80s and '90s was still the Colombia of today. It didn't even occur to them that things might be different now.

Anyway, there are obviously exceptions to every generalization, but overall my point still stands: Americans are paranoid about travel as compared to citizens of other developed nations.


October 2nd, 2009 at 12:52 PM ^

That's a bit like the tired old "only 10% of Americans have passports" stat, though. Those 10% of Americans are more than the entire population of Canada. I'm willing to bet there are more Americans out there in the world than Europeans just based on the sheer size of the US.


October 2nd, 2009 at 1:01 PM ^

But that's my point. There aren't more Americans out there. I've spent the last three years abroad on six different continents and Americans were unfailingly outnumbered amongst the tourist crowd. It wasn't even close. In fact, I'm pretty sure I encountered at least as many Canadians as Americans.


October 2nd, 2009 at 1:05 PM ^

No, your point - if I read you correctly - was THE CAUSE of the lack of Americans abroad was "Paranoia." I offered you another reason (the fact that Americans, on average, work 6-10 weeks more than other industrialized nations' workers do). Feel free to disagree, but trust me, I wasn't debating whether or not you have, anecdotally, come across a lot of Americans in your travel. I was suggesting that the the generalization that Americans are "paranoid" is wrong and sort of lazy, given the relative vacation time between industrialized countries.