The timing of Friday's decision by the International Olympic Committee to hold the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro instead of Chicago coincided with the lunch hours of a ravenous blogger community who took a few minutes to respond to the news. Since holding the games in Chicago would have meant bike races in Madison, there were local reverberations.
For one thing we've got those Olympic routes, including an incredibly pretty 13 miles through Madison that would have been the time trial course. Those routes were certifiably great enough for Olympic competitors, so let's use them. I've even got a half-baked idea right now to sign the time trial route as the Chicago Summer Games Trail and our Economic Development Director offered the bright idea of hosting a community bike ride along the route on the day of the 2016 Olympic biking competition in Rio.
Personally, I think Chicago dodged a bullet here but wouldn't have complained if it did get the bid and this helped our fair city getting an intercity rail stop.
As a supporter of light rail I had hoped for the Olympics because it would have helped to push the administration's rail agenda in the Midwest.
While another city will host the Olympics and reap the fame, jobs, and economic benefit that will result from the honor, it can be said that Chicago has provided this nation a valuable lesson. Chicago proved what can be done when eyes are pointed upwards and united efforts are never forgotten.
So who's down with the idea of Chi2016: Let's Do It Anyway. Rebuild the failing infrastructure, reinvest in communities & schools.
I was driving down 57th Street headed to Washington Park when I got a call from a friend telling me Chicago had lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics. I honked my horn, rolled down the window, and let out a whoop of joy.
We see this same jocks-vs.-nerds conflict play out every time a pro sports team threatens to skip town unless the taxpayers cough up money for a new stadium. The opposition to these arena grabs typically consists of good-government types who argue that the alleged economic impact of the new building is greatly inflated-and wouldn't that money be better spent on education? The jocks play to municipal pride and the desire for the beloved local team to stay in town. And usually, though not always, the stadium gets built.