If Chicago had won the Olympics … – Chicago Tribune

Rio de Janeiro just marked one year until the 2016 Summer Olympic Games open there. Rio beat out some, um, excellent cities six years ago in the competition to host the Games.

We supported Chicago’s failed bid. But with each passing year it becomes clearer that Chicago dodged a bullet.

Rio’s bid in 2009 came with an estimated cost of $14.4 billion, which was far more realistic than the $4.8 billion bid made by Chicago. What would it really have cost Chicago? It sure would not have been $4.8 billion.

London initially penciled in $4 billion for the 2012 Games, but spent $14 billion. Beijing spent an estimated $40 billion for the summer 2008 Games. Russia spent an estimated $50 billion for the Winter 2014 Games in Sochi.

Rio’s preparations for 2016 have bordered on chaos. A subway extension may not be ready in time. Distance swimmers and boaters are scheduled to compete in waters that are contaminated with human waste. Olympic construction contractors are embroiled in an enormous corruption scandal. Brazil’s booming economy, once a clear selling point for Rio’s bid, is mired in what looks like a serious recession.


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