This whole Olympic prospective is stirring. My wife and I have family in Chicago and Chicago-land as well as a great number of friends in the city. On the exterior, having the Olympics in Chicago would be my obvious desire, but there is perhaps something more.
Madrid and Tokyo are disqualified in my mind. Tokyo already hosted the Olympic games in 1964 and Spain got its turn with Barcelona in 1992. Neither Japan nor Spain really needs to host the Olympics again – at least not yet. Chicago is a GREAT city. Hosting the Olympics would expose the world to the beauty of the Chi and boost Chicago economically – though I wonder if the needy will actually receive much. However, didn’t the U.S. just host the Olympics in 1996? Now we are not like Spain, our country is considerable larger in size and in population, but still do we as Americans need to host the games again, so soon? I ask why can’t we share the honor of having the Olympics?
I personally, favor Rio. The Olympics have never been in Brazil and have never been hosted in South America. Beyond that Rio is beautiful – it is on the list of “places I wish to go, but probably won’t”. I can’t imagine a nicer climate, nicer scenery etc. Plus, the culture of Rio is incredibly rich.
But perhaps my biggest reason for wanting Rio to get the nod – beyond the fact South America hasn’t hosted and all the other countries in the final four have hosted – is that Rio is a dichotomous place. There is great difference between the rich and the poor in Rio. As a result there is a high crime rate – especially violent crime. As you read this, you would think that these are reasons NOT to host the Olympics, but perhaps three things will happen.
First, the government of Rio will realize it needs to clean up some neighborhoods and take care of the poor in order to be a proper host.
Second, the increased revenue from the Olympics will be a financial opportunity for some lower class folks – construction, vending, hosting, hotels, etc.
Third, the poverty and injustice of Rio will be greater exposed to the world – specifically to Christians – and we will begin to do something about it.
I am not going to complain if Chicago gets the Olympics. Honestly, I will probably buy tickets to various events – especially if we end up living in Chicago or in Chicagoland. But thinking justly; Rio should host.
But I am not making decisions, that will happen in a couple hours . . . who will it be?