Of course, a little more than two weeks ago when deciding which city would host the 2016 Olympic Games, it wasn’t that the International Olympic Committee was utterly unimpressed with twin statements from Barack and Michelle Obama which were more about themselves than about Chicago, America or the Olympic Games. Of course not.
In the week following President Barack Obama’s failure in Copenhagen to bring the Games home to Chicago, the left rationalized the loss of the Games–in the very first round–to Rio de Janeiro as one of three things: first, that Rio won the bid because the Games had never been in South America; second, that corruption in Chicago was already so rampant that there wouldn’t be much left over for the IOC to skim from the top; or third, that the real reason Chicago lost was the recent rash of violence in the Windy City.
So much for the latter theory.
According to an Associated Press report yesterday, Rio is seeing its own fair share of violence. And there, unlike in Chicago, things are a bit worse than scuffles, beatings and murders in the street. In Rio, buses were set ablaze, firefights between rival gangs lasted for hours, a dozen people were killed, and–get this–a police helicopter was actually shot down.
Still, authorities there are promising that security will be tightened and the city will be safe by 2106, and indeed two years earlier when Brazil and Rio play host to soccer’s World Cup tournament. Regardless, if it wasn’t the violence that pushed the IOC to choose Rio over Chicago, then it leaves as the only reason either mere geography, corruption or presidential solipsism. The left will but on the first option. And, while they’re probably right, I’m certain that the other two contributed as well.