Friday, October 2, 2009

Chicago 2016. No, Rio!

From 200905 Chicago
"Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders"

There's one title that Chicago won't be adding to that Carl Sandburg description anytime soon: Olympics host city. Sigh. It's not to be. The International Olympic Committee decided not to say Chicago at the end of that announcement today, "The games of the 31st Olympiad are awarded to the city of ..."

I had been getting emotionally invested in this decision. Our family has recent experience with both the Olympics and with Chicago. John was in Beijing for the opening days of the 2008 Olympics. Read about those heady days here. And Ellen and I visited downtown Chicago last May while in town to visit John at Northwestern University. Read about our tourist exploits here.

Chicago remains one of the world's great cities, with or without the Olympics. But a 21st century Olympics to go along with those 19th century hogs and wheat and railroads would have demonstrated that Chicago's future is as bright as its past. But today, it's Rio de Janeiro, with its samba beats and Carnival, that's the city with the bright future. Party on.

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