Reasons why Chicago will win 2016 Olympic bid
A Fibonacci sequence?
No. This is the number of years between Olympics in the United States dating back to Squaw Valley in 1960.
Sixteen years later, Denver was awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics. (The city eventually rejected the Games due to public pressure. Innsbruck would host).
Then Los Angeles in 1984, Atlanta in 1996 and Salt Lake City in 2002.
See the pattern here?
The United States is the biggest contributor to IOC coffers and what the United States wants, the United States generally gets. And what it wants is to host an Olympics at least once a decade.
The last opportunity for the IOC to fulfill this obligation is 2016.
Money talks. And the IOC particularly likes to listen. This is the biggest reason why Chicago will win on Friday.
But it's not the only one.
Chicago is up against Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.
Madrid will not win because the Summer Olympics are in London just four years earlier in 2012.
Tokyo will not win because we just had the summer Olympics in Asia last year. Still too soon to return.
Rio is the only competitor without such baggage to weigh it down. Working in its favour is the fact that IOC president Jacques Rogge has made it his mission to take the Olympics to new parts of the world like South America and Africa.
The biggest problem for Rio is crime and security. Streets are regularly closed because of shootouts and gun fights on subways are not uncommon. The IOC was kind in its evaluation report when it noted Rio's "public safety challenges."
IOC watchers actually feel Rio had the best evaluation of the bunch.
The biggest thing the IOC fears is risk. Sure, there are some questions about Chicago's financial guarantees. But between the risk of some downsizing of Chicago's Olympics or gunplay outside Rio's main stadium, the IOC will choose the former.
This is also where the security issue comes into play. When we think of Atlanta, we always remember the pipe bomb that killed two people. That is one risk the IOC will not suffer again, which will hurt Rio’s chances.
Then there is the Obama factor. And it's not just that he's the President of the United States. All the bidding cities are sending their presidents, prime ministers, kings, what have you. But he's only one who is black with Kenyan roots. If you're counting, that's 16 African IOC votes in the bag.
Not to mention that South Africa needs to curry American support for its bid for the 2020 Olympics, which it will make after hosting the 2010 World Cup. (See above reference about Rogge).
So the question mark at the end of the numbered sequence that began this assessment will be 14.
This decade will not be one without an Olympics in the United States.
Michael Drapack is a news producer with The National with a keen interest in the IOC machine. For the record, he's 4-for-4 in recent Olympic bid predictions.