Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Go Rio!

I hear both Obamas will be in Copenhagen Friday to pitch Chicago as the city that should be selected to host the 2016 Olympics. I love the Obamas, but I hope they are unsuccessful.

First of all, the President should stay home and work on a couple of small issues that need his attention – like health care, energy, Afghanistan, and the rest. If Michelle wants to go to demonstrate that she really cares, that it’s “USA, USA, all the way,” that’s fine. A waste of time and money, but OK.

We don’t need another Olympics. The argument that it’ll pump money into our economy is not convincing. An honest analysis of what the whole extravaganza will really cost would probably show that it’s no better than a financial wash anyway. And our prestige doesn’t need another Olympic gold medal. If we’re really on a mission to woo the rest of the world, to let them know that we really care, we should forget Chicago and support Rio.

The other two cities in the final round of voting are Madrid and Tokyo. Arguments for them are as unconvincing as the ones for Chicago. South America has never hosted an Olympics. Rio is the perfect place to break the pattern of neglect that has been in place for hundreds of years. Brazil will host the World Cup in 2014. To follow that with the Olympics two years later is perfect.

We talk about welcoming emerging nations into the club. India, China and Brazil are at the top of the list. Is there a better way to show that we mean it? Go Rio!