Four cities are vying for the right to punish their own citizens with higher taxes, crippling transportation problems, and acres of over-priced and underused infrastructure projects that will blight the landscape for decades to come. Let the torch burn bright!
Politicians, wealthy businessmen, and other "civic leaders" love to brag about the jobs and income that hosting an Olympics creates. And it will create income—for politicians, wealthy businessmen, and civic leaders. For everyone else, it's mostly a giant headache. They get eminent domain lawsuits and obnoxious construction snafus and in exchange they get pop-up souvenir stores and sporting events they can't afford to tickets to. Yet, the city fathers will bend over backwards to bring it to them. Higher, faster, stronger, people!
So who will get the 2016 Summer Games? Who should get it? And what would they do with it if they got it? Let's take a look at the competitors, in reverse order of the likelihood that they will win.
Madrid: This would probably be the best of the four cities to hold an Olympics in. It's a beautiful old world town with a modern twist, easy access for most competitors and fans, and everyone loves sangria. Unfortunately, most voters will confuse it with Barcelona and think they already had an Olympics (plus 2012 is Europe, too) so they're out of luck. Sorry.
Tokyo: I hope their pitch includes the country's marvelous sporting stadium bathrooms, because that's the only thing that would convince anyone to hold the Games there again. Everything is new and fancy in Japan, but it's pretty much the most crowded place in the world and it's a 22-hour flight away no matter what spot on the planet you're coming from. (It's a fact!) The last thing this town needs is four million white guys trying to find a store that sells tentacle porn. Pass.
Chicago: The Windy City is the money-line favorite to win the Games and Chicagoans probably think that hosting an Olympics would lift them into the elite category of world class cities. They would be wrong. (Does Atlanta strike you as a cosmopolitanism world capital?) Plus, why would you want to be a world-class city? The only positive that could possibly come out of this is a fancy new subway system (even that's a big IF) and that only makes you a more attractive target for terrorist attacks. Actually, that's probably why our Muslim traitor president is pushing so hard for them. No thanks.
Rio de Janeiro: It's not going to happen for Chicago, however, because Rio is the upset special. Why? One: Everyone hates America. Two: There have been only two Olympics in the Southern Hemisphere and both were in Australia. Three: It would be the first Olympics in South America, a continent that is sadly overlooked by people who are not addicted to cocaine. Four: The future Olympic Stadium will make an excellent favela when the Games are over.
Yes, the hyper-violent gang wars and soul crushing poverty are definite PR obstacles, but that's what they said about South Africa and look how well the World Cup turned out! The only question is: Can the IOC grift more money from the corrupt rulers of a lawless third-world backwater ... or from Brazil.
The tipping point? Carnival! It's Rio in a squeaker. Not that any that of this matters since none of us will be around to see 2016 anyway. Thanks a lot, Mayans.
Hopefuls fire last salvos as 2016 Olympic vote nears [AFP]
Chicago favored, with Rio next, in 2016 vote [MSNBC]
Some Chicago residents hoping Olympics bid a bust [AP]
2016 Olympic vote at a glance [AP]
Olympics-Famous athletes boost Chicago bid on eve of vote [Reuters]
The fundamental question [Universal Sports Blogs]