The New York Times reports many critics are ready to blame the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for the failed bid to bring the world to Chicago in 2016.
“Before we think about putting forth another Olympic city for a Games possibility, we’ve got to deal with some outstanding issues that are not going to go away,” said Mike Plant, who serves on the U.S.O.C.’s 10-member board and traveled to Copenhagen as part of the Chicago delegation. “I think that certainly there will be some dialogue that’s going to take place in the next couple of weeks — or certainly in short order.”
Asked what should happen next to return the U.S.O.C. to prominence in international circles, James Ravannack, the president of USA Wrestling, said: “Resignations. It’s an absolute embarrassment. I don’t know what else to tell you. Where is the leadership?”
However, Patrick G. Ryan, the bid leader for Chicago, said his staff’s relationship with the U.S.O.C. could not have been better. He said regional bloc voting, not the U.S.O.C., caused the bid’s downfall.
“I think people look for an excuse when something happens,” he said. “They look to finger-point, and now the finger-pointing is at the U.S.O.C. It’s a simple thing to do the day after.”
Meanwhile, Abdon M. Pallasch, a political writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, describes how many have placed blame firmly at the feet of George W. Bush. Writing for the sports section of the Sun-Times, Pallasch writes:
"There must be resentment against America," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, near the stage where he had hoped to give a victory speech in Daley Center Plaza. "The way we [refused to sign] the Kyoto Treaty, we misled the world into Iraq. The world had a very bad taste in its mouth about us. But there was such a turnaround after last November. The world now feels better about America and about Americans. That's why I thought the president's going was the deal-maker."
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said she was approached by a consul general at the plaza as they waited for word Friday.
"He said ... he was hearing that there wasn't enough time for Barack Obama to dispel the old image. ... But I don't know if that's it."
State Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago) said she saw firsthand the resentment against America five years ago when she was in Rio de Janeiro.
"I feel in my gut that this vote today was political and mean-spirited," she said.
"I travel a lot. ... I thought we had really turned a corner with the election of President Obama. People are so much more welcoming of Americans now. But this isn't the people of those countries. This is the leaders still living with outdated impressions of Americans."
However, Don Surber provides a completely different perspective. Blogging for The Daily Mail, Surber reports that essentially the entire issue comes down to a matter of respect, or lack thereof.
According to stories in the Berlingske Tidende newspaper in Copenhagen, the Olympics committee felt upstaged by Obama, and wished to return the favor.
The front page headline of that paper read: “Rio vandt — Obama tabte” or “Rio won — Obama lost.”
The story began: "The world’s most powerful man traveled to Copenhagen to ensure the Olympics to Chicago in 2016. But sensational smoke Americans out in the first round, while the IOC members did hosting the Rio de Janeiro.”
It continued: “The fact that Barack Obama came, could not do it. I think we lacked emotion, it seemed too empty and business-like. So when Tony Blair promoted London he was around three days to lobby and talk to people. You can not just come with the train one day and try to affect everything. People have felt that it was a lack of respect for the Olympics and sport in general. I think people felt it was too business-like to get into the way we have now seen it many times, and you would have feelings back.”
Putting the nail in the coffin, the article continued: "Here come the more favor Obama just before the deadline and made showoff. He clearly won the battle in the media, but it turned out indeed to be indifferent. IOC members did not feel important, and they were indeed reduced to spectators and not players."