The International Olympic Committee’s votes are in, and despite the best efforts of Americans—including Oprah and President Obama—Chicago will not be hosting the summer games in 2016. Instead, that honor is going to Rio de Janeiro.
Let me repeat that: the International Olympic Committee snubbed Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama, probably the two most powerful people in the United States—maybe even the world. Chi-town got knocked out in the very first round of voting. What the hell, IOC? Who turns down Oprahbama? (On the flip side – why didn’t Oprah give the entire committee “A NEW CARRRRR!!” to sway their votes?) Unless Rio somehow hypnotized the judges by having a bevy of hot Brazilian models stun them into submission, I cry shenanigans on this whole thing.
Okay, maybe it’s a little ridiculous that the Olympics have never taken place in a South American city. And I guess it hasn’t been very long since the US last hosted an Olympics in 2002. But come on. Salt Lake City, home of approximately four zillion Mormons and not much else, gets the Winter Games, but Chicago, the third-largest city in the nation and the birthplace of life-changing inventions like softball and deep dish pizza, gets the shaft? And for Rio de Janeiro, land of perpetual Carnival? The athletes are going to be too hung over to even compete!
On a more serious note, the city is also notorious for drug trafficking and violence: in 2007, there were nearly 30 homicides a week in Rio. The Olympics have already been a lightning rod for danger—think about the bombings in Atlanta in 1996, or the massacre in Munich in 1972—and holding the games in a city that’s already volatile just seems like a recipe for disaster. Wouldn’t Chicago, where the winds are strong but the people are mild mannered and stuffed to the gills with hot dogs, have been a safer choice?
Enjoy Rio, people. Just hold onto your purses.