“Olympics decision stuns Chicago crowd” [UPDATED]
Remember how Obama was going to win back the love and respect of the world?
Thousands of people stood in bewildered silence in downtown Chicago on Friday after the International Olympic Committee surprised everyone by dumping the city from the race for 2016 Summer Olympics in the first round of voting.
The vote in Copenhagen was carried on huge television screens set up in the Daley Center to carry what many had hoped would be approval of Chicago as host. It had seemed so likely to many in a city still basking in the blow of hometown Sen. Barack Obama’s election as president.
Instead, Chicago was bounced in the first round, bringing an audible gasp from the crowd. The elimination came so quickly that some would-be revelers weren’t sure what had happened and they asked bystanders if they had heard what they thought they heard.
Many stood for a few minutes, staring at the screens, and at least one flung his hands into the air in a crude gesture toward the TVs. Within seconds, people began filing out of the plaza.
“I’ve never really had a disappointment like this,” said Ken Rudd, a 33-year-old salesman from Evergreen Park. “This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.”
Chicago was in a race with Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo and Madrid for the 2016 games.
Let’s hope this is just the first of many losses in the President’s endless campaign to purchase himself a legacy.
update: Politics as usual?:
Top White House adviser David Axelrod says “politics” played a key role in the International Olympic Committee’s decision to reject President Obama’s appeal in support of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.
Asked for details, Axelrod said, “I’m not suggesting anything nefarious…I’m not suggesting anything untoward happened. There are politics around every process, and there were here as well…There were relationships that paid off for some of the other cities.”