Nine Days Left…

Curzon is pumped for the 2016 Olympics — I really hope Tokyo wins the big to host the Olympics, and the decision is to come out on October 2, just nine days away.

I gave an overview of the four candidate cities at ComingAnarchy more than a year ago, and I might as well share the background with MF readers as the date of decision approaches.

In June 2008, four candidate cities were chosen for the shortlist on when a complete “bid score” was issued to aid the decision-making process. The finalists: Tokyo, Madrid, Chicago, and Rio de Janeiro.


+ Tokyo — score 8.3
+ Madrid — score 8.1
+ Chicago —score 7.0
+ Rio de Janeiro — score 6.4

Elminated Candidates:
+ Baku — score 4.3
+ Doha — score 6.9
+ Prague — score 5.3
(Doha received a higher score than Rio de Janeiro but was eliminated because it wanted to hold the games in October, not August.)

Here’s a brief overview, with more details from Wikipedia here.

The last summer Olympic games to be hosted by the Americas was the 1996 Games in Atlanta, and Chicago has an extensive public transit system, a wide range of venues, and a strong sports culture. Five new venues and eleven temporary venues will be built for the games. Chicago is reported to be the strongest contender in terms of infrastructure, public support, and money, but is still deemed to be behind Tokyo and Madrid in the technical aspect.

Madrid benefits from its strong reputation from the 2012 bid as well as having 85% of venues already in place and experience in hosting Olympic qualifying events. One potential problem is that no continent has hosted successive Summer Games since 1952, when Helsinki followed London as host city, and London is hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics and Sochi, Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro boasts natural beauty and recently hosted the XV Pan American Games. International Olympic Committee head Jacques Rogge expressed eagerness to have either South America or Africa host the Games, as neither have ever served as hosts. However, it has a weak bid because of poor infrastructure and high crime rate.

Tokyo is touting “the most compact and efficient Olympic Games ever” with a setting on the shores of Tokyo Bay, refurbishing a run-down industrial area and reclaiming land from the bay, and stressing its “green” approach to plans. Tokyo boasts the highest technical score and has great infrastructure, but has the weakest public support of all candidates. Also, like Madrid, its bid is weakened by the recent regional hosting by Beijing.

Will Tokyo win because of its high score? Chicago because it’s “America’s turn”? Madrid because of its existing infrastructure? Or Rio de Janeiro because of continental favoritism/OIC “Affirmative Action”? Stay tuned, the decision is just nine days away.

57 thoughts on “Nine Days Left…”

  1. Rio, Ri-o!
    Or anywhere but Tokyo. Preferably as far away as possible, and maybe this will spur on some serious improvements in Rio.

  2. Most of the Japanese people I’ve spoken to about this either actively do not want it (because of the expense they perceive it’ll place on taxpayers to finish preparing) or are utterly indifferent. None of them have complained about the influx of people, fortunately.

    Personally, I don’t really care, if Japan gets it or not since I don’t expect to be here when it all happens (though I wouldn’t want it to be in Tokyo if I did expect to be here because I expect there to be a lot of chaos). If I had to guess, I’d think it’ll go to Rio. I think that there is a desire to make South America feel as if it is “relevant”, for lack of a better word, and to encourage people to view it as on par with first world countries. Aso there is the exchange rate issue. Tokyo is going to be a lot more expensive for people to come to with a strong yen (which is unlikely to dip low at any time in the foreseeable future). Also, frankly, the barriers to entry that Japan has remain in place. Though Tokyo has a lot of English writing, people are still uncomfortable with the barrier they see in communication.

    Barring Rio, I think Chicago will get it because of the Obama factor (as he’ll likely still be president and his wife is going to the IOC to persuade them to choose Chicago). And, the IOC will get more money from American T.V. networks if they hold it in the States. Holding it in Japan puts everything way out of whack for T.V. viewership in the U.S. so they’ll get less money from the cash cow American T.V. networks.

  3. Tokyo has had the Olympics. I think it’s absurd for any city to get it more than once, except maybe to go back to Athens for the bicentennial of the modern Olympics or some such thing.

    And why would you actually WANT it to come to Tokyo? I’m pretty glad it didn’t make it to NYC, because we would have just ended up with a bunch of already thinly stretched development resources expended on sports related infrastructure that would have turned into useless boondoggles the day the Olympics was over.

    Based purely on these logos, I’d give it to Madrid. Chicago’s logo is just terrible, and I’m not really sure what’s going on with the Rio one. Tokyo’s logo does get second place for style, but I think the thin lines of the ribbon are a poor choice – a logo should be bolder.

  4. 2012 will be the third time London hosts the Olympics so twice doesn’t seem so bad. I think it’s too soon to go back to the US given that it will only be 20 years since the games were in Atlanta and that seemed indecently fast after Los Angeles. Chicago’s bid looks the best bet, however, and there might be some advantage to giving the US an international vote of confidence in current times. Madrid seems a bit too swift a return to Spain for my liking but there’s no denying that Barcelona was a smashing games for the athletes and the crowds. Rio sounds like a great idea, and I would go if it was selected, but sport is already taking a bit of a flier with the World Cup in South Africa next year. IOC members might prefer to see how that plays out before they go with a South American bidder.

    In many ways, Tokyo does come out as a decent all-round candidate in that it doesn’t have the disadvantages of the others. Public apathy is a problem but I’m sure the city would do a good job as well as shaking up the country’s thinking on sporting excellence. The “barriers to communication” are not that significant and certainly considerably lower now than Tokyo in 1964 and Seoul in 1988. If you are a resident, then there’s more time for a city’s foibles and inconveniences to get up your nose but visitors don’t care so much. Japan and Korea both received glowing reviews from fans who travelled to the World Cup in 2002.

    In fact, there might even be benefits for foreign residents of Tokyo if the city get the games. It might give the eikaiwa business a shot in the arm, even if only temporarily, as well as creating a bit of demand for translation and interpretation. International media outlets, whatever they might look like by then, will want a few more Japan hands than usual. Anyone running a Japan blog, or its near future equivalent, should see some extra traffic and a moment in the sun. How old will Danny Choo be in 2016? Tokyo may naturally develop a large-scale free wi-fi network but there would be more momentum behind the concept if it was seen as a necessary part of the supporting infrastructure for an Olympics. Many visitors will own some kind of device which they will want to be able to use as soon as they arrive. Currently, overseas cards work in ATMs at 7-11 and the Post Office but Mizuho, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Mitsui might also join that party if they were in the public gaze.

    If you live in Tokyo and you really don’t like the idea of the city getting the Olympics, another option is to take a holiday and sub-let your apartment to visitors which is usually a nice little Olympic earner. Try not to let your landlord know.

  5. The main problem with the Tokyo bid is that the idea of holding the Olympics there is really, really boring (I hated the London selection for the same reason). Really, no one cares if Tokyo gets the Olympics. People in Tokyo don’t care. Tokyo is already an established international city and for the people actually living in the city holding the Olympics would just be a pain in the ____. I live in New York, and the misguided Olympics bid got the same attitude, with the additional problem that our transportation infrastructure is falling apart.

    With Chicago, apparently there is a weird US law that no federal money can be spent on the Olympics, it has to be local funding. Given that states and cities in the US have to balance their budgets, unlike the federal government, with the current economic climate Chicago and Illinois may literally not be able to finance the Olympics. Despite Obama’s election, this is really the wrong time for the US to host the Olympics.

    That leaves Rio and Madrid, and the issue there is whether you want a city where you know the infrastructure will be ready but it will be putting the Olympics in Europe for the umpteenth time in their history, or to put them in a beautiful city in a continent where they have never been but you risk some of the athletes getting mugged. That’s a tough call.

    Tokyo would be an excellent selection as backup host city, however.

  6. If Japan is going to get back in the saddle, it needs a confidence boost. Confidence to hire, pay, buy, trim the fat, make babies, and look forward. The Olympics are one way to engineer a bit of a boost. Immediate inconveniences and outlays aren’t that significant in my mind compared to a national project that people can look forward to. I also have a hunch that apathy will give way to enthusiasm when the media machine starts rolling (and they will no doubt try to get baseball and softball back to fuel it).

  7. “they will no doubt try to get baseball and softball back to fuel it”

    That already appears to be a lost cause for 2016 after the IOC voted to recommend golf and rugby sevens instead. The official ratification takes place next month but the process has been described as “a formality”. That’s one reason why I think a winning bid would concentrate minds on how the country plans to win medals. Recent Japanese displays at synchronised swimming and judo championships have been dire so national sports organizations may have to completely rethink how they prepare athletes for international competition. Japan might make a decent showing in golf with the new crop of youngsters and the country will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup so there’s already an incentive to put resources behind that sport, even in the shortened version.

    Apart from that, Japan has to identify where it can excel, and it might not simply be a case of trying to replicate former successes in table tennis or volleyball. Britain faced this issue a few years ago and we came up with a national programme that surprised everyone by garnering a big medal haul in Beijing. Cynics pointed out that our main successes in rowing, yachting and cycling all seemed to involve sitting or lying down but it still perked the nation up. Japan ought to be able to get some judo medals if they can come to terms with the fact they don’t own or run the sport any more. The country always seem to have competitive marathon runners, so that ought to be OK, but they are hit and miss in track & field and need to start nurturing new talent over the next couple of years. Similarly in swimming, Kitajima is already 27 so will be well out of the picture by 2016 but there needs to be a programme in place to make sure he isn’t just a flash in the pan.

    South Korea dominates archery where there are four events and eight golds up for grabs. Sure, kyudo and yabusame are very different disciplines but they are close enough that Japan should do better in the Olympic event. Since 1972, they’ve won only two silvers and one bronze which is a big missed opportunity. Similarly fencing should be given more funding not least because Japan won a silver in Beijing so there’s already a seam to mine. There’s also a keirin event in the Olympic cycling programme which is there specifically because of Japanese lobbying. It brought a bronze in Beijing but Japan ought to expect a gold given that they are really the only country which is serious about keirin.

    Actually, some of those opposing the Tokyo bid are doing so because they believe it is a very bad way to promote sport in Japan. They fear that funds for community sport initiatives will be siphoned off to build expensive new facilities that benefit only elite athletes. When the IOC came to review Tokyo’s bid, they picked up a bit of coverage in the local papers arguing that an ageing population needs more swimming pools and sports centres than stadiums.

  8. “That already appears to be a lost cause for 2016 after the IOC voted to recommend golf and rugby sevens instead.”

    With Ishikawa Ryo fandom buzzng (that guy bugs the #&”& out of me, he’s being declared Japan’s golfing Jesus just for making a cut in a major….) I’m sure that golf will be a big attraction and rugby also has its Japanese fans. Are the rules carved in stone, however? If Tokyo wins, I can see a serious drive to make exceptions.

    I agree totally on Judo (however, I also think that recent changes to its tone as an international sport have made it all but unwatchable – people RUNNING for 30 seconds after their opponent gets a point deduction and taking a gold medal that way… it’s going the way of amateur boxing… and notice that boxing superpower America shows even worse in the amateurs than Japan has in Judo). Japan needs to centralize sporting resources like Australia did and diversify within that – your fencing suggestion is great.

    The big medal question for me is – will China steamroll all comers from now on? Now there is a country that understands how to do nationalist boosterism….

    All of the factors that you mentioned are important, but I can think of one more – Japanese kids need to get over soccer and start doing different things. If Japan was going to be anything other than a perpetual qualify-go home early squad, it would have happened by now. Otherwise, it isn’t doing anything much apart from bumping up Skapa subscriptions and Konami stock.

  9. According to this sign in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo, the games are already in the bag…

    Personally though, I think it will be Chicago that gets the nod. The US TV networks basically subsidise the IOC. They will demand their share of the cake and a return to Olympics on their time zone, without a doubt. The networks were bleeding about how the Asia-Pacific time-zones puts events on outside the US networks ‘prime-time’, and destroys their revenue generating ability. (Which is why some Beijing events had finals at 9am local time… swimming?).
    They also tried (during Sydney 2000?) running event highlight shows +12~18 hours after they were run, not realising that the internet delivered the results ‘in real time’ so the excitement was lost. Also, in the north, Canadian CBC ran live coverage and those smart enough changed over and watched that instead.

    … A small wager on Rio at good odds might be the go here too…

    (PS… sorry about the self-promo)

  10. It really doesn’t look like baseball or softball will be in the running for 2016 no matter who wins the bid. There are no demonstration sports any more which used to be a way for a host nation to showcase a favoured sport.

    By the way, I think モーゼス夢, Japan’s collegiate champion 110m hurdler, has a great name.

  11. I hope that you are wrong about the baseball and softball (isn’t the IOC one of the most cash and carry international organizations?) but you are so, so right about that name.

  12. Tokyo 2016 naysayers tend to overlook the fact that most events would be held on a new island south of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. The traffic impact on Tokyo residents would be negligible as all the tourists would be clustered around the bay area.

  13. Odaiba is nicely out of the way for most Tokyo residents but estimating the traffic impact as “negligible” is downplaying it a bit too much. Not only will the city have half a million visitors swilling around for over two weeks if their bid wins, some of the traffic lanes will probably be kept clear to ensure that athletes, officials and dignitaries can get to their destinations on schedule. Add security measures into the mix and it will be an impact Tokyo has never seen before. And all during the hottest part of the year. The 2002 World Cup doesn’t really compare because the matches were shared with Korea and the nearest one to Tokyo was held in Yokohama. Most visitors – and there were fewer than expected – yomped around the country following their teams with not much time in Tokyo itself.

    Of course, the city is used to dealing with large masses of people – millions at Meiji Shrine over New Year, for instance – so there’s no chance that things will come to a standstill. You’ll certainly notice a difference, though.

  14. I thought Chicago’s bid supposedly took a big hit when that city’s marathon turned into a fiasco. Not being able to calculate how much water runners needed and then cancelling the race mid way through didn’t seem like a confidence booster for that city’s organizational capacity.

  15. Re Mulboyne:

    It will certainly be noticeable but it will not be a big deal. Adding half a million people to central Tokyo is a drop in the bucket considering that Shinjuku alone has 3m passers-through every weekday. Plus the new Haneda terminal will be finished, which will keep much, if not most, of the coming and going traffic at the bayfront.

  16. …”The 2002 World Cup doesn’t really compare because the matches were shared with Korea and the nearest one to Tokyo was held in Yokohama.”

    And once again Saitama gets forgotten again.
    The was a semi-final venue, and is about 50min away from Tokyo.
    It is also part of the Tokyo 2016 bid, hosting the Olymipc Football tournament group matches.

  17. Why isn’t the Tokyo Olympics bid getting the chop? It didn’t take the DPJ long to ditch the Yamba Dam (a manifesto commitment, though) whereas they didn’t say anything about Olympic bid. Which is projected to cost more cash?

  18. Isn’t the Olympics bid more of a project by the prefectural government than the national one? I assume it would still be up to Ishihara to drop the bid.

  19. Ken Y-N: It’s a decision made by an independent committee, which, while it has significant national government support, is primarily driven by local governments and corporate sponsors.

  20. The government could certainly scupper the bid if they wanted, even if the JOC refused to officially withdraw. The IOC wouldn’t want to vote for a venue which didn’t have national government backing. The time frame doesn’t really allow them to and the party is probably ambivalent about the bid anyway. Ironically, the site was originally intended for the 1996 World City Expo but cancelling that event was one of Aoshima’s campaign promises and he did so as soon as he was elected Governor in 1995.

    Craig, as someone who went to both Saitaima and Yokohama during the Cup, I can safely say Yokohama is closer to Tokyo. Visitors don’t care how far a venue is, they are more concerned with how long it takes to get there. Yokohama is right next to the shinkansen stop which puts it 20 minutes from Tokyo Station against the 50 minute journey to Urawa Misono.

  21. Like others I am against another Tokyo Olympics for purely selfish reasons. I just don’t want to be hassled with crowds and security crackdowns. Also I find the brainwashing and media bribery campaign run by the Tokyo govt (massive ad campaign with no message other than “we can do it because we’re Tokyo”) distasteful.

  22. You know,People in Nagoya still has resentment over their loss on Olympic bid to Seoul back in ’88.For that reason using Gundam to promote Olympic bid in Tokyo was added insult hence Gundam was the brain child of Nagoya TV…..

  23. Couldn’t give a fack about the Olympics
    wherever or whenever they are.
    it’s just our blacks against theirs
    for the most part

  24. Word of wisdom coming from Djavve.
    However, all of that mattered when Jesse Owens got gold in Berlin back in’36.
    Anyway,proving”Our blacks are faster than your blacks” are the raison d’etre of Olympic game.

  25. If Tokyo gets the Olympics it will be the worst thing to happen to this city since the outbreak of the “Hills” projects.

  26. I don’t wanna have Olympics in Tokyo….because JFA (Japan Football Association) has officially announced that they will run for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. US is currently running for 2018, so I guess it will be 2022.

    Anyway World Cups are far more important that Olympics, ….in “Soccer” fan eyes (And actually world cups are gaining more attention than Olympic games, as a fact).

  27. A World Cup is a different kettle of fish compared with an Olympics because it is awarded to a country rather than a city. The matches are hosted nationwide and the tournament rarely leaves a lasting impact beyond the construction or upgrading of sports stadia. An Olympics can leave a mark in many ways whether it be a debt burden, sports facilities, transport infrastructure, utilities and communications networks or city accommodation. In fact, the IOC explicitly requires bidders to explain what legacy their games will leave. London emphasized local area regeneration and youth sports. Tokyo over-egged this side a little by focusing on broad environmental initiatives which led one delegate to observe that the IOC “isn’t the United Nations”.

    Tokyo has less to gain than in many of those areas than some other bidders over the years because existing facilities can already handle much of the job. Nevertheless, a successful Olympics can do a lot for civic pride which, arguably, Tokyo has been running low on for some years now. As Aceface notes, that benefit shouldn’t necessarily be the exclusive right of Tokyo and one implication of a losing bid this year is that it will leave the door ajar for another Japanese city to try their hand without having to wait a few decades.

  28. God Mulboyne do you always have to write like some kind
    of breathing encylopedia ? Your posts read as though they have
    been spat out by some electronic opinion machine that has
    to include as many facts and as little feeling as possible.

    Olympics- no thanks. I think everyone agrees that it’s dull.

    Football ? “The team from my area beat the team from your area ! ”

    It’s time humans EVOLVED beyond competitive sports….

  29. Was that really necessary? Mulbonye is one of the best commenters that I’ve seen online – and that’s not just J-blogs either.

  30. Martin,

    Let’s keep it civil here. You can easily filter out Mulboyne’s comments by spotting long blocks of text. The rest of us will continue to read eagerly and appreciatively.

  31. “a losing bid this year…will leave the door ajar for another Japanese city to try their hand without having to wait a few decades.”

    Shudder. Didn’t Osaka essentially bankrupt itself just bidding for the Olympics?

  32. “God Mulboyne do you always have to write like some kind
    of breathing encylopedia ? Your posts read as though they have
    been spat out by some electronic opinion machine that has
    to include as many facts and as little feeling as possible.”

    This is high praise as far as I am concerned. Would that more people commented like this.

  33. Also, when Mulboyne does make a funny, it is twice as funny because you are usually expecting serious.

  34. Having distanced myself from commenting on other people’s blog for a while and now coming back only to find out that bad currency is over riding the good,both at MTF and Neojaponisme.

    I believe in “broken window” theory.Some draconian measures are in need here.

  35. The best Olympics for the host city are the ones that put the place on the world map, and create useful lasting infrastructure. Sydney and Barcelona both pulled it off in this respect.

    London (where I live) and Tokyo (where I have a house) events are both in top 10 world cities and need no boost to be put on the map.

    Both cities already have well developed transport infrastructure and in both cities the plans for the games involve slighting of irreplaceable public assets (Greenwich Park, and a waterfront nature reserve in Tokyo.)

    Lastly, neither plan involves the creation of widespread public access sports facilities such as local authority swimming pools, ice rinks and so on. Everything is to be concentrated in a small area for the immediate convenience of the visitors, and the later profit of the developers, but will be of little use to the wider population who actually pay for the damn thing.

  36. @Adamu: I think Osaka did a good job of bankrupting itself well before the Olympic bid.

    @RMilner: There’s a waterfront nature reserve in Tokyo? What kind of nature does it have besides garbage-eating crows and mutant jellyfish?

    Although Tokyo Olympics II would be awesome, my gambling money (if I chose to gamble) would go on Madrid. Spain’s economy is in the toilet, even by current global standards; the other EU countries will be keen on finding ways to keep it from dragging the rest of them down, and Europeans have a disproportionate number of seats at the IOC.

  37. Waterfront nature reserve in Tokyo is pretty good place for birdwatching.

    Sir Peter Scott,the founder of World Wide Fund Nature and reknowned conservationist of water fowl went there when it used to be called Ooi wild bird park and he did write in his “Naturalist diary”saying “amazing bird watching at Tokyo bay”.

  38. It could be a nail-biter. Here’s a dirty handicapping of the IOC vote, using Wikipedia’s IOC roster and aping Samuel Huntington’s analysis of the 2000 Olympics voting from The Clash of Civilizations

    ROUND 1
    British and Canadian delegates vote for Chicago. Other Westerners vote for Madrid. Latins, Africans, Orthodox, Islamics, Chinese and North Koreans vote for Rio. Other Asians vote for Tokyo. Chicago eliminated.

    ROUND 2
    British and Canadians now vote for Tokyo (why not?), which is still eliminated.

    ROUND 3
    British and Canadians vote for Madrid. Asians vote for Rio. Rio wins by a nose.

    Final tally:

    [1] [2] [3]
    Rio 41 41 47
    Madrid 42 42 46
    Tokyo 6 10
    Chicago 4

    Then Japan and the US go to war.

  39. “British and Canadians now vote for Tokyo (why not?)”

    Because of the anime?

    Rio should get it. It might be a disaster, but at least it’ll be a sexy disaster. And the time zone is very convenient for the massive US market. Come to think of it, while I suppose a southern hemisphere country can host the “Summer” Olympics in August, even if it isn’t summer there, could one ever host a “Winter” Olympics?

  40. Any of you seen Brazilian film”Elite Squad”? It’s based on true story about SWAT team of Rio Police tried to clean up the slam because Pope was visiting Rio.And the cops take up the task by maximum violence with torture,assasination etc.Interesting movie and probably something similar would happen if olympic would be held there.But then again.I agree with Jade.I vote for Rio.

  41. Could get old Norki P too hook up some athletes
    with a little billy whizz, a nice little earner.

    For the record, I totally respect Mulboye’s
    posting pudendal pulchritude. I just wish
    he’d imbue it with a little more boyne
    and less mull.

    Aceface; “Draconian Measures” ?
    What exactly did you have in mind ? Surely
    not censoring people’s posts ?

  42. Djavve Spectre III:

    Please let commenters comment as they may, and simply ignore those who you don’t care to read. If you are unable to do that simple thing, go spout your nonsense elsewhere.

  43. Both Obama and Hatoyama have confirmed they will be going to Copenhagan for the decision. Tokyo was looking a bit short of heavyweight figures so the Prime Minister is a nice bonus. Ishihara has looked annoyed he hasn’t been able to convince the Imperial family to muck in with Tokyo’s bid efforts. Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife have both been invited to Copenhagen but they hinted earlier they wouldn’t be attending. The JOC has been quick to downplay rumours that they don’t support Ishihara or the Olympic bid. Apparently, the prince has to attend a national tree-planting ceremony in Unzen, Nagasaki so that clearly takes priority.

  44. “Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife have both been invited to Copenhagen but they hinted earlier they wouldn’t be attending”

    Anyone watched the NHK Special on emperor aired on april?One of the highlighted scene was emperor made decision to go to Unzen as soon as possible to heal the feeling of the people in peril after the volcano eruption.And Unzen experience seemingly become one special moment for the emperor.
    The doc also revealed interesting situation among the family.If I’m not mistaken crown prince and his wife only showed up once in the doc and that was official occasion.Prince Akishinomiya showed up twice and both in private time with emperor.

    Also reminds me of when late Eto Jun,the most influential critic of the country at the time and was a kin to Princess Masako,harshly criticized the couple for not showing up in Kobe back in ’95.Eto said the role of imperial family is not to attending the parties but being present at the scene of the peril of nation.That made small sensation hence Eto was a staunchy conservative and a loyalist.

    All that makes me very easy to believe why crown prince had higher priority in Unzen over Coppenhagen.He just couldn’t drop the occasion to be in Unzen considering how his father would view things.

    The irony is Eto was very close friend of Ishihara.Ishihara read the speech at Eto’s funeral in ’99.The coffin was carried by Ozawa Ichiro,Tanaka Yasuo,and critic Fukuda Kazuya.

  45. Rio’s sister city in Japan is Kobe while Chicago’s is Osaka which could make Kansai smiles a bit broader if one of those two beats Tokyo today. Madrid seems not to have a sister or twin city in Japan.

  46. “Chicago’s strong transit infrastructure” is an oxymoron.

    Our streets are more potholes than pavement, the CTA (bus and subway/elevated service mostly within city limils), Pace (suburb to suburb bus service) and Metra (suburb to city commuter rail) have suffered from years of neglect, including lack of funding, lack of maintenance, and lack of reliable rolling stock.

    The toll roads and expressways are incredibly congested, and the toll highway authority always has an excuse for “construction”.

    Although the main venue and Olympic Village would have been built in Chicago neighborhoods many would call dangerous, plenty of events would have been held outside the city proper – including in neighboring state Wisconsin!

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