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.