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Chicago 2020 Olympic Bid Has Surprising Detractor

By Prescott Carlson in News on Sep 26, 2010 3:15PM

2010_09_08_daley02.jpg What a difference a year makes. While speaking at Chicago Gourmet in Millennium Park on Saturday, Mayor Daley was asked about Chicago making a run for the 2020 Olympics and he had a surprising answer -- don't do it.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Daley implied a bid would be a waste of time and money, and that the fix is already in with the International Olympic Committee:

"You have to look at the world. [The Olympics have] never been in India, they've never been in Africa and they haven't been in the Middle East," Daley said. "So those three parts of the world will come first, before any bid."

Daley added that he didn't regret his own failed run at the 2016 Olympics, calling it "a great opportunity to really showcase Chicago," but said it would likely be a "political decision" and that the next mayor "can't bid for it and all of a sudden say, 'Johannesburg or Cape Town's going to get it. They're going to get it.'"

We could have sworn last year Daley was telling us all that hosting an Olympics in Chicago would be the cure for all our woes, and should be pursued at all costs. So that's not the case now? WAS BILLY DEC LYING TO US? Call us cynical, but we think it's more a case of sour grapes and saving face than a genuine concern for the city and its finances. How would it look if a first term mayor brings home an Olympics when Daley failed to do so with all his power and prestige?

Fortunately for the mayor's ego, he may not have to worry about his successor stealing his glory -- U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun has already said that any U.S. city, much less Chicago, being put up for a 2020 Olympic bid was "highly unlikely."