"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
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The next pandemic
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- How China sparked an Asian frenzy for killer submarines
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- 5 deliciously creative oats recipes
Subscribe to the Week