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Chicago's loss could be L.A.'s gain

October 6, 2009 |  6:14 pm

Fabforum

Now that the International Olympic Committee has snubbed Chicago and chose Rio de Janeiro to play host to the 2016 Summer Games, will the U.S. Olympic Committee try again to bring the Olympics to this country?

How about to this city?

The Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games has made 12 bids, including its 1984 triumph. L.A. was among the finalists to be the U.S. bid city for the 2012 Games--New York got the USOC's backing but lost to London--and L.A. lost to Chicago for the right to be the U.S. bid city for 2016.

SCCOG hasn't considered yet whether it will mobilize for a 2020 bid. Undoubtedly it's unwilling to stir perceptions that it's dancing on Chicago's grave--and is being mindful that in the current shaky economy even a whisper about staging the Olympics here would surely draw protests.

"No decision has been made, and it would be the city of Los Angeles' decision as well as ours," said David Simon, present of SCCOG. "I think we will await direction from the USOC, and I don't expect anything until sometime in 2010."

No surprise there. The USOC has been in turmoil the past few years and board room has had a revolving door. Its leadership has changed often--too often to develop long-term relationships with IOC members, and that was widely considered a factor that hurt Chicago's 2016 bid. Only when the USOC figures out where it's going can it figure out if and when it makes sense to go after the Games again.

-- Helene Elliott

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