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Japanese Fear ‘obama Factor’ Could Hurt 2016 Bid

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Link to article in context: http://www.universalsports.com/ViewArticle...;ATCLID=1618355

Japanese fear ‘Obama factor’ could hurt 2016 bid

Wed Nov 05, 2008 By Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Olympic officials fear Barack Obama’s victory in the U.S. presidential election could hurt Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Games.

Senior Japanese officials expressed concern that Obama’s success could give his home city of Chicago a massive boost in the Olympic bidding process.

“I wonder how International Olympic Committee members will react when Mr. Obama appears in a presentation for Chicago,” Japanese Olympic chief Tsunekazu Takeda told local media on Wednesday.

Tokyo, the first Asian city to host the Olympics in 1964, faces competition from Chicago, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro in the race to stage the Summer Games after London 2012.

“Mr. Obama is good at speeches and very popular,” said Japanese Olympic Committee board member Tomiaki Fukuda. “It could be a problem for Japan.”

Tokyo’s chief bid official sounded a slightly less gloomy note.

“It was not unexpected,” said Ichiro Kono, head of Tokyo’s 2016 committee. “We still have a job to do. It’s positive that a supporter of the Olympic movement has become president.”

The election of the host city for 2016 will take place in October next year at an IOC session in Copenhagen.

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Things are never that simple. Paris thought things would be last time and were in for a shock. Having the best technical bid is probably not enough if there is a good technical bid with a more persuasive argument running against yours.

And, to be frank, I'm not even convinced Tokyo can say it has the best technical bid in this race.

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I think Tokyo is trying a lot harder to win this bid than Chicago is.

I think they are well aware that continental rotation does not favor them -- but they are pulling the 'persistent but stupid Madrid' mantra nonetheless. Of course, those 2 ill-timed cities will cancel each other out, really leaving the choice between the Americas' Chicago and Rio.

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I think they are well aware that continental rotation does not favor them -- but they are pulling the 'persistent but stupid Madrid' mantra nonetheless. Of course, those 2 ill-timed cities will cancel each other out, really leaving the choice between the Americas' Chicago and Rio.

I wouldn't go as far as calling Tokyo ill-timed. Timing is not perfect but I don't think it's impossible.

BTW, I think it is as likely for Chicago and Rio to cancel each other out than for Madrid and Tokyo.

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I think they are well aware that continental rotation does not favor them -- but they are pulling the 'persistent but stupid Madrid' mantra nonetheless. Of course, those 2 ill-timed cities will cancel each other out, really leaving the choice between the Americas' Chicago and Rio.

Regarding "Continental Rotation", we had Europe (Athens), then Asia (Beijing), and now back to Europe (London) again, so conceivably it could go Asia (Beijing), Europe (London) and then back to Asia (Tokyo).

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I wouldn't go as far as calling Tokyo ill-timed. Timing is not perfect but I don't think it's impossible.

BTW, I think it is as likely for Chicago and Rio to cancel each other out than for Madrid and Tokyo.

But you have to throw in the Obama factor, giving the bloom of his rose has not withered by Oct 2009.

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But you have to throw in the Obama factor, giving the bloom of his rose has not withered by Oct 2009.

Oh I definitely think Chicago is the US best shot at the Olympics in years. On the other hand, I have absolutely no idea on how much Obamania there is within the IOC and, more importantly, how much Obamania there will be comes October.

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Japan have lot of good thing, we have great city and Emperor. Emperor more stately then Obama, Emperor lobby for Tokyo. Japan so great, thousand years history, beautiful people and love sport (not stupid sport like biathlon).

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Japan have lot of good thing, we have great city and Emperor. Emperor more stately then Obama, Emperor lobby for Tokyo. Japan so great, thousand years history, beautiful people and love sport (not stupid sport like biathlon).

Biathalon isn't even a Summer Olympic sport...

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Blair and Putin really made it for London and Sochi... so I think if Obama would come to Copenhagen next year... Chicago will definitely win this all!!

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I think the Obama factor shouldn't be over-estimated, just like Blair and Putin's roles in London and Sochi victories shouldn't: sure, they probably brought a few votes to their respective city and, in a close contest, it is enough to tilt the balance.

What I mean is Obama could be a decisive factor for Chicago in two ways:

  • first, to help Chicago to secure enough votes to survive the early rounds
  • then, in case of a close finish, to get the edge over the other candidate

But, that's about it: don't expect Obama to ensure a landslide victory to Chicago.

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