Sunday, September 27, 2009

T-Minus Five ...

It's now just five days and counting until the big vote in Copenhagen. In about 120 hours, the International Olympic Committee will bestow the 2016 Olympic Games upon Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janiero or Tokyo.

Several Olympic-minded friends, as well as colleagues and even a blog reader or two have offered their take on the race. Some are absolutely convinced a particular victor will be named. Others are less certain about the winner, but seem to feel 100 percent clear about which metropolis they DON'T want to visit in 2016.

Here's my brief, late-night take on the candidates (I will list the city followed by its bid advantage and bid Achilles' Heel, from my view):

Tokyo -- Familiar Olympic destination as the only finalist to previously host the Games (I am paraphrasing a friend who mentioned today he felt this was more a disadvantage); the fact that Beijing just hosted the Games in Asia may be a disadvantage.

Madrid -- Repeat bidder that came a long way since previous bid; unfortunately, London 2012's proximity puts this European capital behind other finalists.

Rio de Janiero -- Now the favorite, and also would take the Games to South America for the first time, AND this city is absolutely gorgeous; but in spite of hosting global events lately, the favelas and the issues faced by millions in the city are a weakness.

Chicago -- First time bidder, outstanding financial support, great TV time zones for advertising and beautiful lakefront setting; What's not to love about this candidate city?

Of course, my Olympic fan-dom will continue no matter the 2016 site. Good luck to all the hard-working bid committees on the home stretch! I'm heading to Chicago on Thursday to pitch a tent and get a great seat for the vote in Daley Plaza. If anyone reading this will be there, please stop by the Picasso statue -- I'll be in a black suit and Olympic bid tie. Hope to see you there!

Go-Chicago-Go!

Photo via Rogue3W on Flickr

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