COPENHAGEN, Denmark (CBS) ―
Oct 2, 2009 10:55 pm US/Central
Mayor Daley 'Shocked' By Olympics Loss
Despite Obama Pitch, Chicago Ousted In First-Round; IOC Awards Games To Rio
Despite four years, millions of dollars in planning and a last-ditch pitch from President Obama, the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid ultimately fell short.
The City of Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting, before any host city was selected. Chicago received only 18 first-round votes. Madrid was the leader after Round 1 with 28, followed by Rio de Janeiro with 26. In the final round, Rio beat Madrid 66-32.
"I was shocked, I was disappointed, I couldn't believe it," Mayor Daley conceded to CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine and other reporters after the decision.
Still, the mayor praised Chicago's effort, saying, "We had a wonderful team
All of us worked together."
Daley said he doesn't envision making a similar effort to land the 2020 Olympics, because the 2016 winner is in the same hemisphere as Chicago, which would dampen his city's chances.
An expert called it the biggest shock in International Olympic Committee history, and it drew immediate questions about the worth of President Obama's influence.
"One of the most valuable things about sports is that you can play a great game and still lose,'' he said after returning to the White House Friday afternoon. The president congratulated Rio for their victory.
A disappointed U.S. Olympic Committee President Larry Probst left the venue and refused to comment.
Supporters gathered in Chicago were equally shocked. Many left the rally in Daley Plaza tears
Tokyo was eliminated in the second round.
Even the president's star billing wasn't enough to put Chicago over the top in what some experts said was the tightest race for the Games in its history.
The contest lasted four years and endured several stumbling blocks. But many believed that when Obama elected to go to Copenhagen to deliver the closing remarks of Chicago's final presentation, the move would seal the deal to send the games to Chicago.
But the president's pitch, along with the star power of First Lady Michelle Obama and TV queen Oprah Winfrey, couldn't sway enough votes.
IOC French delegate Guy Drut praised Mrs. Obama, calling her "very, very, very tough. She's the woman of the day." He ignored a question about whether President Obama was impressive at his own appearance.
Bill Scheer of Chicago 2016 insisted, "We didn't do anything wrong."
Except maybe just being American?
"I think Americans have a difficult time right now with the rest of the world," Mayor Daley's brother, William, said. "I think the rest of the world doesn't look at the U.S. the same way it did for many years."
Chicago 2016 CEO Pat Ryan was at a loss to explain Chicago's early exit from the selection process.
"We fought a good fight. We had a good plan. I'm very proud of our team. I'm very proud of the support we had for the city of Chicago," he said. "I just think that that's the way it goes. Some days you win, some days you don't, and it wasn't our day to win."
When asked why he thought Chicago was bounced so early, Ryan said, "Obviously, the voters didn't think we should be in the second round."
: Chicago Loses 2016 Olympic Bid
: Chicagoans React To Shocking 2016 Loss
: Analysis: What Chicago's 2016 Loss May Mean
: Political Impact Of Chicago Losing 2016 Bid
: Pat Ryan On Chicago's 2016 Olympic Loss
Despite the loss, Ryan emphasized that the 2016 Olympic bid put Chicago on the map.
"We introduced Chicago to the world. Chicago is so much better known today, and appreciated and respected all around the world," Ryan said. "So Chicagoans can hold their heads high. We're sorry we didn't bring home a victory, but there's only one gold medal winner."
In the short term, CBS 2 Mike Flannery reports that the Chicago defeated leaves Obama politically wounded by taking on a fight that he really didn't have to take.
The vote is also a stinging defeat for Mayor Daley
, who has been used to getting what he wants. Although opponents now no longer have the Olympics, and the potential for cost overruns and mismanagement, as a campaign issue.
CBS 2 Olympics expert Mike Conklin said the defeat points to the United States' lack of standing within the International Olympic Committee, dating all the way back to the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Olympics.
VIDEO: Mayor Daley's Pitch
VIDEO: Chicago 2016 Chairman Ryan's Pitch
VIDEO: First Lady Michelle Obama's Pitch
VIDEO: President Barack Obama's Pitch
SLIDESHOW: Chicago 2016 Olympic Pitch
City officials first announced in July 2005 that Chicago would be making a bid for the 2016 games. Daley had originally said the millions required to make a serious pitch would not be worth it, but local business leaders came forward and said they would foot the bill.
Retired Aon executive chairman Ryan came on as the chairman of the 2016 Olympic bid committee.
By 2006, Daley was meeting with the International Olympic Committee and traveling to compare notes with other cities. He proposed the construction of a temporary stadium in Washington Park, which would house the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field events and open-air festivals.
Plans for an athletes' village soon followed. Eventually, the campus of Michael Reese Hospital on the city's Near South Side was chosen as the site.
The U.S. officially decided to enter a bid for the 2016 Games in January 2007, and picked Chicago over Los Angeles for the bid in April of that year.
Chicago's Olympic bid got a monumental boost when Obama was elected president.
At a rally in Daley Plaza five months before the election, Obama drummed up enthusiasm for the bid. He said: "In 2016, I'll be wrapping up my second term as president, so I can't think of a better way than to be marching into Washington Park alongside Mayor Daley, alongside Rahm Emanuel, alongside Dick Durbin, alongside Valerie Jarrett as President of the United States, and announcing to the world, 'Let the games begin!'"
But as the bid pushed ahead, questions began to arise about the city's bid. Analysts began to cast doubt because of the city's plan to finance the bid completely with private funding, while the other cities all had public guarantees.
Protests against the Olympics began to erupt in Chicago, on fears that there would be cost overruns and taxpayers would get stuck with the bill.
Still, the Chicago 2016 team pressed on. In April 2009, the city wined and dined a group of IOC members, showing off proposed Olympic venues and other plans, and treating the dignitaries to a gala attended by Oprah Winfrey.
But the week the bid team picked to host the dignitaries was unseasonably cold, and attention on the IOC visit was disrupted by a protest by Chicago Police officers who were angry over their lack of a new contract.
Still, the IOC seemed to come away impressed.
But the question of funding still remained, and eventually mushroomed into its own controversy. Following a June 2009 visit to Lausanne, Switzerland, for a final pitch to the IOC, Mayor Daley appeared to change course and said "yes" when asked if he would sign a contract guaranteeing that the city would assume "the financial responsibility for the planning, organization and staging of the Games."
In total, the Olympics had an estimated price tag of $4.8 billion.
Daley later said the city would be on the hook for "no more than the $500 million already approved by City Council."
Some Chicago aldermen grew skeptical, including Manny Flores (1st), Sandi Jackson (7th) and Joe Moore (49th), who called for an independent auditing team for the Olympic bid.
But in late August 2009, a report by the Civic Federation concluded that as long as the city stuck to its plan, taxpayers would be protected from the costs of the Olympics.
Controversy also erupted when the city began demolition of the Michael Reese Hospital campus. Critics said the city had engaged in risky real estate speculation in purchasing the campus, and lamented the demolition of some buildings designed by renowned architect Walter Gropius.
On Sept. 2, an IOC commission put out a report
that criticized the bid for its failure to provide a full public guarantee to cover an economic shortfall, the city's limitations of transportation system, and the costs of the Olympic Village and new venues.
But the report also called the city's budget "ambitious, but achievable," and criticized other cities too. Overall, Rio de Janeiro came off the best in the report.
On Sept. 4, a Chicago Tribune poll indicated that only 47 percent of Chicagoans supported the Olympic bid, and 45 percent were against it. The survey was criticized for its sample size of only 300 people, but other cities used the poll in an effort to sell themselves over Chicago.
Meanwhile, Obama was on-again, off-again for weeks about whether he would go to Copenhagen for a final pitch before the vote on the host city.
But Chicago's bid fell short even with Obama's presence.
Now, like the failed plans decades ago for a 1992 World's Fair
, the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid will only exist in the world of what might have been.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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