"This morning, everything is possible for Chicago," said the Chicago Tribune in an editorial. By noon, the city will find out whether its four-year effort to win the 2016 Olympic Games has succeeded. The city is prepared to play host to the world, so let's hope the push by the Obamas, Oprah Winfrey, and a lot of unheralded supporters pays off—"there is no consolation prize."
The backers of Chicago's bid will fail unless their sales pitch went over better in Copenhagen than it did in Chicago, said Edward McClellan in Salon, where only 47 percent even want the Games, according to a recent poll. "Anti-Olympians are unwilling to bleed even more money for a Games they see as a vanity project to revive" Mayor Richard M. Daley's sinking approval ratings "and a boondoggle that will benefit the city's elite, at the expense of ordinary Chicagoans."
The truth is, said Bill Wilson in BBC News, that winning a bid to host the Olympics can be a mixed blessing. Hosting the Games can boost a city's tourist profile and fill hotels—as the 1992 Games did for Barcelona. But "there is also the more recent example of Athens in 2004, which experienced a post-Olympic economic slowdown." That's something for the favorites—Rio de Janeiro and Chicago—to consider.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Deficit scolds are the most crazed ideologues in America
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- 10 things you need to know today: July 24, 2014
- A scientific fact-check of 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 7 language habits that reveal your age
Subscribe to the Week