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Chicago's Olympic dreams dashed

October 3, 2009 7:05:05 AM PDT
Chicago lost the bid for the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.Rio de Janeiro won the right to host the 2016 Olympics on Friday.
WE'RE OUT: IOC president reads vote results
Watch Mayor Daley's full comments

WATCH THE VIDEO: Chicago 2016's presentation to the IOC
WATCH THE VIDEO: Pres. Barack Obama's IOC presentation speech
WATCH THE VIDEO: Michelle Obama's IOC presentation speech
WATCH THE VIDEO: Mayor Daley's IOC presentation speech
VIDEO TIMELINE: Long road to Chicago 2016
ORGANIZED OPPOSITION: 'No Games Chicago'
WATCH THE VIDEO: Tokyo 2016's presentation to the IOC
WATCH THE VIDEO: Madrid 2016's presentation to the IOC
WATCH THE VIDEO: Rio 2016's presentation to the IOC
WATCH THE VIDEO: Mayor Daley's full interview after Chicago's loss

After a four-year campaign that began just after the 2012 Olympics were awarded to London in July 2005, Chicago has been denied the opportunity to host the 2016 Olympics.

Ninety-four International Olympic Committee votes were tallied to eliminate Chicago in the first round of voting in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Here's the breakdown of the voting:

  • Madrid: 28
  • Rio: 26
  • Tokyo: 22
  • Chicago: 18

    Most of Chicago's votes seemed to go to Rio in the second round as that city jumped to 46. Madrid had 29 and Tokyo 20.

    That set up the final round showdown, between Rio and Madrid where Rio came out victorious, 66 to 32.

    "The city of Chicago having obtained the least number of votes will not participate in the next round," announced Jacque Rogge, president, International Olympic Committee.

    In just three minutes, Mayor Daley's Olympic dream was dashed.

    "Athletes will tell you not everybody get's the gold," said Mayor Daley.

    Mayor Daley hasn't lost an election in 20 years. Doing so today, brought out his philosophical side.

    "I get emotional about it. I love my job, Chicago really shined here. I just want to make sure people realize that. People did a tremendous job," said Mayor Richard Daley. "You don't have to win everything in life to be victorious," said Daley.

    "Chicagoans can hold their heads high. We're sorry we didn't bring home a victory," said Patrick Ryan, Chicago 2016 chairman. Read a statement from Pat Ryan

    So what happened?

    The round-by-round vote tallies reveal Madrid was on top early and Chicago came up four votes short. But in round two, Tokyo actually lost votes that slid to Rio. By round three, Rio walked away with it.

    The see-saw spread caused some IOC members to speculate there was a coordinated effort to eliminate Chicago early.

    "I'm shocked, the whole thing doesn't make sense other than there has been a stupid bloc vote," said Kevan Gosper, senior Australian IOC member.

    The other factor: a general disdain for the US Olympic Committee.

    "I've not heard anybody criticize Chicago's bid. In fact, several members have said to me it is the strongest bid the U.S. has put in this years. But there's this underriding issue, this resentment against the USOC which is seen as this big organization trying to bully the IOC," said Duncan Mackay, InsidetheGames.Biz.

    "The United States hasn't engaged as well as we could have for a long time. There is a lot of politics going on. This isn't just on the merits," said Bob Ctvrtlik, U.S. Olympic Committee.

    Chicago's team prepared for the possibility of loss, but not in the first round.

    "We really felt good about everything this week. It's like a gut punch," said David Robinson, former Olympian.

    Chicago reacts to Olympic loss

    "I don't think we could do any more. The president of the United States was here and did a great job, and so did the first lady who was just inspiring. And the mayor. Everybody did well. We just didn't prevail," said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn from Copenhagen.

    The first round was always considered the most dangerous round because it was going to have the most narrow range of votes.

    "But even so, this has got to be considered quite a shock and it shows there's strong anti-American sentiment at the IOC," said Marc Ganis, sports industry consultant.

    Ganis said there's been a running dispute between the IOC and USOC concerning broadcasting profits. Then most recently the USOC announced it was going forward with an Olympic network, then had to withdraw that assertion within a few weeks.

    "I think for the city of Chicago it's been a great experience, and we've raised a lot of money for an Olympic event that would have been wonderful for this city. I think we've got to figure out how we can -- I think we can take this as a foundation and build from there. We're going to figure out what we're going to do next," 4th Ward Ald. Toni Preckwinkle said. "I'm stunned. I assumed this was going to be a contest between the city of Chicago and Rio de Janeiro and to have us eliminated on the first round is a real surprise to me as I'm sure it is for the folks out at Daley Plaza."

    Ald. Carrie Austin said the IOC will be missing out on a diverse, hospitable host city for the Games, and Chicago will miss out on the financial benefits.

    "We can hold our Olympic Games every day of the week because we do have a diverse city," Austin said. "This shouuld have been such an investment for infrastructure, physical infrastructure and human infrastructure for me. And the neighborhood I know that would have been an investment and my colleague was talking about how it was going to leverage for her community but every one of us were talking about the same thing."

    "I think it was legitimate to think Chicago's bid was strong no host city has ever done a lot of things Chicago did. So certainly on a national level President Obama will catch criticism for not delivering on the international front while granting some concessions," said Olympic historian and DePaul professor Carson Cunningham. "So that will be leveraged and Mayor Daley will talk about it again but as far as a bunch of finger pointing about the big players who helped do the presentation in the final hours wasn't warranted. This probably had a lot to do with sentimental favoritism to the former president of the IOC."

    "Chicago had a great bid. A lot of people worked on it and I don't know what the individual IOC members were thinking. We'll probably know in the aftermath. But we are not going to hang our heads. There's too much work to be done in Chicago, and we'll work hard in the community and we'll try hard another time," Ald. Pat Dowell said.

    "All Illinoisan's can be proud of the way in which Chicago, the State of Illinois and our region was represented, and presented, not only this week in Copenhagen, but throughout the three year process of competing for the 2016 Summer Olympics," said State Rep. Kirk Dillard. "Regardless of today's decision, the 2016 Committee did an outstanding job of showing the rest of the world our values, principles and the true spirit of our people."


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