Video: Chicago sings the blues

  1. Closed captioning of: Chicago sings the blues

    >>> news" begins now.

    >>> good evening. they gathered in public spaces and gathered around tvs in chicago today because the folks who really wanted the olympics to come to town in 2016 really liked their chances. after all, the president of the united states followed the recent custom of other world leaders , flying to europe, personally getting involved to bring the olympics to his hometown. then the agony of defeat. chicago lost in the first round. the games will go to rio . there's sadness tonight in chicago . we begin there with our own lester holt . lester, good evening.

    >> reporter: good evening. down the stretch, polls found chicagoans divided whether they wanted the olympics here in chicago . everyone from the president to oprah winfrey making the case. folks on either side were shocked the city's bid went down so quickly. after a pitch to host the first ever south american olympic games , rio de janeiro 's victory was far from a shock. but the early round loser was.

    >> the city of chicago , having obtained the least number of votes will not participate in the next round.

    >> reporter: a collective gasp was heard on chicago 's daily plaza as thousands who thought they would be celebrating a victory learned chicago came in last, behind rio , madrid and tokyo.

    >> for it to be over that quickly, that stunningly fast, it's heart breaking.

    >> i'm surprised and i'm very disappointed.

    >> it was going to bring a lot of work and construction and jobs.

    >> i don't feel good about it.

    >> reporter: president obama faced backlash to make a last minute trip to copenhagen was in air when he got word of the loss.

    >> one of the things that's most valuable about sports is you can play a great game and still not win.

    >> reporter: chicago 's celebrity backed presentation of the $4.8 billion vision of a lake front olympics had been given high marks. some long-time olympic observers say the rejection may not have been over merits, but between the u.s. and international olympic committees.

    >> chicago is collateral damage. the fight is between the international olympic committee and the united states olympic committee . they are in disputes over money.

    >> reporter: unlike rio de janeiro where thousands celebrated today, public support for the chicago games was tepid. a recent poll found less than half of chicagoans were in favor of their city hosting the games.

    >> whether you are for or against the games, you want a better chicago . i think no games had a different vision of what that was.

    >> reporter: those deeply familiar with rio de janeiro 's proposal said geography was on its side.

    >> i think it's not just rio , it's all of south america . the single biggest reason they won in their very passionate layout of their plan. they did the most unbelievable job --

    >> reporter: tonight, as rio 's speech party is just beginning, chicagoans are talking about the party that never was. mean tichl, the white house is dismissing republican complaint that is the president shouldn't have made the trip. there was more important business here at home. david axelrod said the only thing the president missed was a good night's sleep.

    >> lester holt starting us off in chicago tonight , thanks.

    >>> now, a word about the

updated 10/2/2009 6:19:43 PM ET 2009-10-02T22:19:43

So much for Da Games.

Chicago residents felt blindsided Friday as the International Olympic Committee quickly eliminated their hometown from the race to host the 2016 Summer Games. Stunned disbelief stretched from the South Side to Wrigleyville as the Second City learned it wasn’t even second fiddle, but fourth out of the four finalists.

Nobody saw this coming.

“I was shocked. I was disappointed. I couldn’t believe it,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley, who didn’t even have time to get to the voting ceremony in Copenhagen before the IOC bounced Chicago en route to picking Rio de Janeiro.

The 67-year-old mayor who spent three years touting the games as a boon for Chicago — many said landing the games would secure his legacy — said another bid was unlikely.

“At this time it is (unlikely),” Daley said. “If it’s in our hemisphere it has to move somewhere else.”

Daley had said the Olympics would lead to new construction and jobs, while drawing in federal money to help fix a mass transit system in need of an estimated $10 billion overhaul.

“I was hoping this would pick up Chicago’s economy, and now I feel pushed even farther from finding a job,” said Vince Monaco, an unemployed 35-year-old in the city. “Since we went out in the first round, I think someone in the IOC has a chip on their shoulder against the U.S.”

Thousands of people stood in bewilderment in downtown Chicago after watching the IOC vote on huge television screens set up in Daley Plaza, named for the mayor’s father. The choice of Chicago as the host city seemed so likely to many still basking in the glow of hometown Sen. Barack Obama’s election as president a year ago.

There was an audible gasp as IOC President Jacques Rogge announced: “The city of Chicago, having obtained the least number of votes, will not participate in the next round.”

Katie Suitor, a 28-year-old social worker, had already signed up to be an Olympics volunteer.

“I was looking forward to having the world come and see just how great Chicago is,” she said.

The Chicago bid had plenty of homegrown firepower, from Oprah Winfrey to the first lady, South Side native Michelle Obama, both of whom spent two days in Copenhagen charming and chatting up members of the IOC. President Obama joined them Friday and the first couple were part of Chicago’s presentation to the IOC, though Air Force One left for the U.S. before the voting began.

Randy Wood, 49, of San Diego said the IOC clearly wasn’t swayed by Obama’s influence and the early elimination reflects poorly on the president.

“Maybe his clout stopped at the Pacific and the Atlantic,” Wood said at the Chicago rally.

With Chicago well-known for public corruption and problems with public services, opponents had serious concerns about Olympics-sized hassles and bills, despite assurances by Daley and bid organizers that taxpayers wouldn’t owe a dime.

Perhaps not surprisingly in a city where a billy goat curse gets some of the blame for the Cubs’ failure to win a World Series since 1908, the IOC decision quickly triggered various theories as to why Chicago lost.

“Maybe it’s possible we overwhelmed them with all our celebrity power,” offered Jennifer Bruch, a 33-year-old Chicagoan.

Others, though, said they were just sad that the world would not have a chance to see that Chicago is a modern, vibrant city and not a gritty industrial center with belching smokestacks and Al Capone-like wiseguys calling all the shots.

“They’re missing history, they’re missing culture, they’re missing a beautiful lakefront, said Georgia Evans, a 60-year-old patients’ advocate. “It’s a wonderful place.”

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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