Congratulations, Olympic International Committee

As noted in this article, the crime wave in Rio related to drug wars will require a little work before 2016. 

The stakes must be very high, as often is the case in impoverished landscapes, for a police helicopter to literally be incinerated in the middle of the city.  Apparently the pilot was strafed, and lost control as police sought to intervene in a gang-turf war.  Rio promises to throw manpower at the problem, claiming that 40,000 military and security forces will keep athletes and tourists safe during the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics. 
I think I'll pass on attending either event, though I expect that Rio's paramilitary Olympics and the athletic Olympics will have me riveted from afar.    It makes our endless self-examination about crime in Chicago killing the Olympic bid seem just a tidbit naive.


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  • Janet love your writing and you make an excellent point. I am originally from Chicago and was stunned when we were kicked out of the running in the first round. I would have to say that I even took a ride on the "Bitter Train" when I heard that Rio had won and the main reason we lost out was because of Chicago crime. When I think of Rio I think of it as a South American Utopia where they have rainbows and butterflies and unicorns scampering around. All are at peace and love abounds. Really the Olympic Committee thinks Chicago equals crime. Good luck IOC because you couldn't prevent someone being attacked and killed in China, I don't know what makes you think it is going to be any easier in a country where rules and laws are just for show. Maybe we as the city of Chicago dodged a bullet by not getting the Olympics.

  • In the end, I DO think we dodged a bullet- or even a bunch of them. With all the nut jobs hating on us via the Mideast, and the potential for catastrophic financial problems- some huge risks were out there. The sad thing is that Chicago is truly a world class city, and the world will not know that. Barcelona is the most similar, I think- their architecture, art and cultural richness was always there, but the Olympics allowed the world to become acquainted. Now it is a tourist destination on a par with London and Paris.

    The opportunities that were lost in improving infrastructure and building venues hurts our current economic outlook, but I keep thinking that the energy might be redirected to making the blighted areas on the South and West sides more supportive of a safe life for those who live on the financial downside. We were determined to create a safe place for the world to see- we should maintain that goal.

    The one thing that sort of makes me smile is that all of the political insiders who made millions in the South Loop, with knowledge of the city's museum campus plans, probably gave some back by investing in the land near Olympic sites. That is a good "check and balance", and I can live with them taking a sting. Also, the trade unions that refused to budge and take any salary rollbacks, or furlough days, believing that the Games would provide work galore, will need to be a little more flexible. They have a duty to their membership to provide jobs, and the "last hired" have often been fired due to the maintenance of their salary demands. They will have to rethink.

    I know we have rough neighborhoods, and plenty of crime in Chicago. The IOC has given the games to a city that I would not send my young athlete to. Rio has 7 years to sweep its despair under the rug. I am sure they will succeed in creating a DMZ. We just need to reconfigure our disappointment into an action plan for the future here: neighborhood redevelopment, more police officers, police contracts, services in the neighborhoods, not just the tourist destinations. It shouldn't be an Olympic task to navigate day-to-day living on the side streets. When it rains, or snows, or the streets turn to obstacle course of crime and, it is.

  • The rest of the state does not trust Daley, Obama, and corrupt Chicago politics. Let Rio have the Olympics and the $100's of millions of cost over runs. It would have only made Daley's head bigger if it had been in Chicago!

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