Thursday, October 1, 2009

High stakes on the line as Chicago, Tokyo, Rio & Madrid bid for 2016 Olympics...

For you night owls out there in the United States that follow the Olympic sports movement, the next few hours are the most critical, as the four cities bidding to host the 2016 Olympic Games in this order--Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid--make their case to the members of the International Olympic Committee.

Each of the four cities will have about 45 minutes to speak to the IOC, then a 15-minute question and answer session.

The US candidate, Chicago, will be up first, speaking at 11:45 pm Thursday night US west coast time, followed by Tokyo, Rio, and Madrid.

Each of the four cities will have prominent government leaders speaking on their behalf, including President Barack Obama on behalf of Chicago, his adopted home town.

Reigning Olympic decathlon champion Bryan Clay (who we interviewed back in June) is also scheduled to speak to members of the International Olympic Committee on Chicago's behalf.

By the time most of you on the west coast are up Friday morning, the members of the IOC will have cast their votes, and we'll have a winner (to be announced around 7 am, pacific time).

According to, it is a close call between Chicago and Rio, with the Windy City holding a narrow edge. Should Rio win, the Olympics will travel to South America for the first time in its history.

The USA last hosted the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. Spain last hosted the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, while Tokyo hosted the Games in 1964.

You can follow the presentations online at

UPDATE (8:26 am)--Chicago eliminated. Didn't see that one coming!

UPDATE 2: (8:35 am)--The International Olympic Committee will announce in about an hour the host city for the 2016 Olympics; Tokyo was eliminated in round two. It's between Madrid & Rio. It's the lure of South America versus the pull of one Juan Antonio Samaranch. Just wondering if he's cashing in his IOUs on the IOC members. Should Madrid win, wonder how having the Olympics twice in a row will look?

UPDATE 3 (9:55 am)--Rio gets the nod!

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