Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

The IOC Makes A Mistake In Choosing Rio

October 3, 2009 4 comments

Yesterday the IOC chose Rio de Janiero, Brazil as its host for the 2016 summer games. Rio will be the first city in South America to host an Olympics, and the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to host since Sydney in 2000. Chicago was out first, followed by Tokyo.

Chicago got just 18 votes in the first round of voting out of a possible 94 ballots. Tokyo then had 20 of the possible 95 to be ousted in the next round, while Rio defeated Madrid 66-32 in the final round of voting.

For the record, my prediction was that Tokyo would be out first, then Madrid, and Chicago would narrowly defeat Rio.

According to Zennie Abraham at City Brights, CNN’s reporting on the crime in Chicago led to them being the first city ousted. If that is the case, the IOC is both blind and stupid. Rio is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. 2,069 murders were committed there last year, compared with just a little over 500 in Chicago. According to the UN, the police commit over 20% of the murders there. Hundreds of shantytowns circle Rio, each inhabited by dozens of gangs vying for control. These gangs often venture into the city to steal money from tourists or citizens. One of the more common forms is a “flash kidnapping” where these gang members will force people to withdraw money from an ATM for them. With Rio already hosting the World Cup, an Olympics there is nearly unprecedented. However, since there will undoubtedly be crime at the World Cup, the Olympic Committee has a chance to learn from their mistakes.

Rather than this being about Chicago’s crime, this is likely a slap in the face of the USOC. The USOC and IOC have had conflicts in the past, most notably over revenues. The USOC receives roughly 13% of US TV rights and 20% of marketing revenues. The IOC has talked about reducing these numbers, but of course the USOC is not interested. Nor should it be. The United States makes the Olympics go round. Without NBC or some other major network broadcasting the games, the Olympics will be a non-entity in the United States, and that will kill them around the world. Los Angeles saved the Olympics in 1984, and the US will likely have to step in to save them again in 2020.

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