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I take no pleasure in saying this, but my colleague Ben Joravsky is wrong. Posting on another Reader blog, Clout City, Joravsky offers the following analysis: "Getting the Olympic Committee to give the U.S. bid to Chicago requires the appearance of rock-solid local support for having the games here. If there's a whiff of opposition, much less doubt about the city's ability to finance the event, the committee will almost certainly award the games to LA, which already has the advantage of having the required infrastructure and facilities in place."
Ridiculous. The Western Hemisphere has a strong claim on the 2016 Olympics, as they'd be the first summer games held on this side of the Atlantic since the 1996 games in Atlanta. But if the U.S. Olympic Committee chooses LA on April 14 it simply guarantees that come 2016 the world will be beating a path to Rio de Janeiro, or possibly to Cape Town or Dubai, a couple of other places that want the games and are in corners of the world the Olympics have never explored. LA, an old hand at putting on the games and a city that has most of the necessary infrastructure already in place, is almost certain to present a more solid bid than Chicago even if Chicago can suppress the wrangling about financing and grassroots involvement that perturbs Joravsky. (Good thing the world's forgotten about the fiasco of the 1992 World's Fair. Oh, it hasn't?)
But so what? LA hosted the 1932 and 1984 games. The International Olympic Committee will never pick LA again. It might pick Chicago. So I expect the USOC to back Chicago and tell us to get our act together by October, when the IOC votes in Copenhagen. Of course, even that is asking a lot.