Chicago was 'least good bid' for 2016 Olympics

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- The question to Denis Oswald was about the chances for any U.S. bid city to win the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Oswald’s answer Friday included ripping Chicago’s failed bid for 2016.

“I think certainly the fact the (revenue-sharing) issue with the U.S. Olympic Committee has been resolved may help,” said Switzerland’s Oswald, one of six candidates in Tuesday’s election to replace Jacques Rogge as International Olympic Committee president.

“I’m not sure this was the only reason why a candidacy like Chicago was rejected.  For me, technically, it was not the best bid.  By far, it was the least good bid.  I think the decision was not a political decision but a technical decision.”

Chicago was eliminated in the first round of a four-city 2016 vote won by Rio de Janeiro, which originally had technical flaws so great that it was ranked fifth of the seven original candidates in a 2008 IOC technical evaluation.

Had the IOC not eliminated Doha because of weather issues, Rio might not have even been a finalist.  Its victory owed in no small part to its emotional appeal for bringing the Olympics to South America for the first time.

The long-simmering and increasingly bitter dispute between the USOC and the IOC over percentages of global sponsorship and U.S. TV rights was widely cited as a factor in the humiliating rejections of Chicago’s 2016 bid and New York’s 2012 bid.  The USOC and IOC worked out a new deal two years ago.

The USOC has not yet decided whether to bid for 2024 but all indications are it will.

“Certainly if the U.S. comes with a good bid, they would be considered like any country in the world,” Oswald said, delivering another implied slap at Chicago.

The IOC will choose the 2020 host Saturday.  Two of the other 2016 losers, Tokyo and Madrid, and five-time failed bidder Istanbul are the finalists.


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