Thursday, October 01, 2009

Give the Olympics to Rio

Can we just give the 2016 Olympics to Rio already. I know Obama is in Copenhagen to sell Chicago's bid. Maybe that makes a difference. At the end of his 2nd term, it would be a cap to his presidency I guess.

At the same time, who cares. Does anyone outside of Chicago really care if the United States hosts the Olympics ever again?

Meanwhile, getting the Olympics would be a huge boon to Rio's pride. I've spent a good bit of time in modernizing nations on the verge on international prestige. When I was in Rio in 2007, there was an international vote on what the Seven Wonders of the World would be. Do you remember this? I wouldn't have either. Because what American would care? But Brazil put on an enormous campaign to get the Jesus statue above Rio listed. Ads were everywhere, commercials flooded the airwaves. It won and a huge celebration followed.

Similarly, my time in South Korea, which followed the Olympics, was a period of huge national pride for the Koreans. They had just won the World Cup, though they hated sharing it with the Japanese. Every year they waited for the Nobel Prizes to be named in hopes that a Korean would finally win. This stuff meant a LOT to them.

The Olympics would mean far more to Brazilians than to Americans. Rio can clearly handle the event. It's a pretty cut and dried choice as far as I'm concerned.

Randy has more.