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


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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Comments (6)

Who wouldn't want the Olympic Games to be back in Los Angeles? Aside from some nasty and long winters, Chicago is a great city and (politics aside)I'm sad they lost the Olympic bid. But I'd love to see the Olympic games back here in 2020

The US has hosted Olympics, summer and winter, 4 times in the last 30 years. Please someone explain to me why an American city, especially one which hosted only 25 years go, deserves to do it again? Launching a bid costs huge amounts of money. I guess there are businesspeople who see the potential for a massive payoff at the end. But there are other countries in the world that are just as deserving and capable as us. And which could benefit far more from the boost to in infrastructure. Please can we instead find a way to pay for health care rather than dump money into another swimming pool?

SoCal certainly cannot do any WORSE than Chicago or NYC did in the Olympic selection process...it's at least worth a try!!

The loss had nothing to do with Chicago. They had an excellent bid technically, and was said so by the IOC. This was a defeat for the USOC, said many IOC members.

Also, when the IOC sends the application to an intersted city, the 1st question is, "Why do you want the games?". Most cities say "because we want them and can do a great job". RIO said "because we have never had a games in South America" Prety compelling. Once they proved the "how" with the evaluation commission report - it was a done deal.

The USOC would have to be insanely stupid to bid Los Angeles for its next games quest. They will get killed with the fact they have already hosted. Chicago faced critics who said the US has hosted the games 4 times. LA will have that, plus the fact that 2 of those times were in LA. Thats LA 2 Africa 0 for those of you keeping score, and you can bet an African country bids for 2020. LA's answer to the why "because we haven't had them here in 25 years, and the 3rd time is a charm". Guranteed failure!

I say bid Chicago again in a decade. They did a great job and the IOC is now familiar with the city. They were also embarrased, at no fault of their own, and may sway some sympathy with the IOC.

There are many ways Los Angeles could answer and fend off that first Olympic question. First, Los Angeles was the lone bidder both times it won. It produced a profit and generally about 85 to 90 percent of Angelino's favor bringing the Olympics. Los Angeles IS an Olympic City. It captivates the world and can recapture the imagination of today's youth, something the Olympics is quickly losing. The city is home to over 1000 Olympians, and because the Olympics are so deeply ingrained in the city's fabric.. the city naturally grows with the Olympics. New venues pop up every few years because Los Angeles itself embodies the spirit of the Olympics. This in turn keeps the possibility of hosting the games a constant. The IOC knows this. Not to mention, Los Angeles single handedly saved the Olympics both times it hosted. It is because of Los Angeles that the Olympics still exist today. If there were ever to be a replacement for Athens, it would be Los Angeles itself because after Montreal, nobody wanted to host the games. After Los Angeles, a blue print was established of what the Olympics should be. In 1932, in the middle of the great depression Los Angeles invented the Olympic Village idea to house the poor. Los Angeles invented the Olympic Theme Song. Los Angeles invented the playing of the national anthem of the gold winners country. Simply put, Los Angeles IS the Olympics, and the Olympics ARE Los Angeles. Whenever they need a makeover it's pretty clear where the IOC will be visiting. If you guessed Los Angeles, I'm willing to bet you guessed right. Cheers folks.

Sorry Pete, The bid was weak. To have an olympics made of temporary buildings? Please. Los Angeles can offer something that no other city in the world can. A projected profit to the IOC of something in the neighborhood of a billion dollars.


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