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Was Chicago 2016 Misled Or Did It Miscount?


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Chicago 2016 team: Was it misled or did it miscount?

Philip Hersh On International Sports

October 8, 2009

Were they misled or did they miscount?

That is the question Chicago 2016 Olympic bid committee officials are being forced to answer after senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said President Barack Obama traveled to Copenhagen based on the committee's assumption the race was close enough that his presence "would make a huge difference."

Some on the bid committee were saying Chicago had up to 33 votes in the first round. Charlie Battle of Atlanta, among half a dozen international relations consultants paid by the bid committee, said he expected "23 or 24."

Instead, Chicago wound up with 18 and was knocked out in the first round, when Tokyo had 22 votes, eventual winner Rio de Janeiro had 26 and Madrid, 28.

The issue no longer is whether Chicago could have beaten Rio if both had been in the final round, which seems unlikely given the International Olympic Committee's desire to have South America host its first Olympics.

The issue is how Chicago got far fewer votes than anticipated.

The answers include the nature of a secret ballot, sympathy votes, some flawed intelligence gathering and skilled Rio electioneering to make sure Chicago did not make the final round.

"I don't think it was miscounting," Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan said. "I think people changed their mind once they got in the closed session."

Ryan also said, "We had far more commitments, way more commitments than we needed to make it into the second round."

Chicago had at least nine people -- plus Ryan -- lobbying for votes.

"What I heard on a consistent basis was the first round vote was the most dangerous, and if we were able to navigate our way through that, we were in reasonably good shape," said U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst. "It turned out that whatever vote counting we may have done, it wasn't enough to get us through the first round."

"When you're analyzing votes, it's more art than science," said Bob Ctvrtlik, the former USOC international relations vice president. "The beauty of a secret ballot is we will never have all the answers. Many, many people who committed to us all can't be telling the truth."

After all, verbal commitments mean nothing in a secret ballot.

"I think the IOC should in the future really study the (voting process)," said IOC member C.K. Wu of Taiwan.

The IOC insists the secret ballot gives its members independence from global politics. Yet French President Nicolas Sarkozy said his country's two members would vote for Brazil, which agreed last month to buy 36 military aircraft from a French company.

Battle endorses the idea that some IOC members who had committed to Chicago were so confident the city would advance they shifted to Tokyo in the first round after hearing its committee plead to help it avoid embarrassment.

Luciano Barra of Italy, one of the lobbyists working for Chicago, said those who shifted to Tokyo may have included Arab members from countries belonging to the Asian Olympic group who wanted to show regional solidarity.

"There were many situations where people who in principle favored Chicago decided to give the first vote to another city," Barra said.

Barra also thought some IOC members might have rejected Chicago out of petulance over security inconveniences caused by the presence of Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. That was given credence by what Leo Wallner of Austria told the Web site Around The Rings: "IOC members did not like waiting 45 minutes outside her door to meet her."

One consultant said an unintended consequence of President Obama's presence was to get Brazil to work even harder to get Chicago out in the first round.

Ryan disagreed. "I don't think (Rio) could have worked any harder," he said. "I don't think they needed any extra motivation."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-08-...0,882158.column

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It was a combination of:

- two or three might've been "spoiler" ballots;

- a few changed their minds thinking there would be a ton of votes;

- again, maybe a handful were miffed by the 'security arrangement;'

and I'm sure once it was official that Barack was going to travel, Rio and Madrid put their 'dirty pranks' plan into effect, and tightened their visor.

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This indicates to me that the Chicago voters who defected to Tokyo in that dramatic 1st round must then have come largely from the Asian region!

So a future lesson for any IOC member who seriously intends to vote for a particular city is 'never make assumptions about the strength of your city's bid and do not play tactical games with your first vote....or else!! :(

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Or bribery?

Really? <_<

I wonder how many large business deals went on between France and Japan, France and Spain, France and the United States during the last few months - The Chicago Tribune is implying something of which there is absolutely no proof. Major countries trade with each other everyday - oblivious to who might or might not be bidding to host the Olympics. It's just sour grapes!

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Really? <_<

I wonder how many large business deals went on between France and Japan, France and Spain, France and the United States during the last few months - The Chicago Tribune is implying something of which there is absolutely no proof. Major countries trade with each other everyday - oblivious to who might or might not be bidding to host the Olympics. It's just sour grapes!

Hey don't get mad at me, I'm just pointing out the accusation the paper was making, or really, rather inferring! I think the IOC secret ballot should be eliminated!

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If you've got the right intelligence and the inside contacts, it is well possible to be pretty accurate in knowing how the votes will go.

There were reports that Nuzman correctly predicted the 60s-30s final vote tally before it was announced. And way back in 1993, the Australian Prime Minister's department was briefed two days before the Monte Carlo vote that Sydney was poised to win by two or three votes over Beijing (final vote 45-43).

Seems to me, the USOC intelligence was way off, and probably also a few votes changed at the last moment. I expect Chicago was expected by most to get through the first round, and the push that sent it out caught nearly all by surprise. If Chicago had got through those rounds, though, I expect the result still probably would have been close to what Madrid ended up with.

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There is likely a pool of undecided voters going into any vote. They are the ones swayed by the emotional pleas in the presentations. It only takes a few to make a difference. There could have been 4 or 5 leaning toward Chicago that were suddenly moved by Madrid.

Some voters change their mind in the midst of voting. Example: After Chicago dropped, Tokyo then lost votes in the next round. Tokyo first round 22 votes. Tokyo second round 20 votes. But in that round there were 18 Chicago and 2 US IOC member votes up for grabs. Instead, 20 more votes went to Rio, 1 more went to Madrid, 1 abstained, and 2 fled the Tokyo troupe.

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Well, Madrid screwed it up for Tokyo and Chicago and paved the way for Rio. We'll never know what might have happened had Madrid realized back on July 6, 2005 that they stood no chance of winning on October 2, 2009 and backed out, but if Chicago or Tokyo stood any chance, Madrid was in the way.

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Well, Madrid screwed it up for Tokyo and Chicago and paved the way for Rio. We'll never know what might have happened had Madrid realized back on July 6, 2005 that they stood no chance of winning on October 2, 2009 and backed out, but if Chicago or Tokyo stood any chance, Madrid was in the way.

Well, that's why it's doubly PAINFUL for Madrid...hard-headed Castillians trying to buck history. I mean working the old man to death!!

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I hate to be the one to say this...but how much do you suppose the "Atlanta factor" played? And by that I'm not judging the Atlanta Games, I mean that Atlanta won the BIG centennial year for the Olympic movement, won over sentimental old Athens, won only a few years after Los Angeles, wasn't the favourite Games of the European set, and is too often chastised as being more of a commercial circus with a pipe bomb than it as a celebration of sport.

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I think Chicago was misled and miscounted. Its lack of IOC relationships made their lobbying job fail. The bid committee needed to dig deeper to understand the minds of the IOC. It is not only about gathering, but also maintaining support. A pledged voter could have easily committed to Chicago and then have been approached by another bid city and change its mind.

Others would simply commit to everyone that approached them as a ploy to keep its vote secret. It takes someone who knows each IOC member to know which are real commitments and which may be fake or bound to change their minds.

Chicago had 18 votes, but it is widely accepted that it would indeed have 20, since 2 IOC members who did not show up in 10-02 were considered locked with the Americans. Tokyo had at least 2 sympathy votes, since on 2nd round it lost 2 of its 1st round votes. So, do the math and you will see that Chicago could easily go into the 2nd round and make this battle difficult.

By the way, making the vote open will not help. It will be bad for the IOC and for the bidders. First, the example mentioned about the Sarkozy-Lula agreement would be more likely to have an effect with an open ballot. The French IOC members might have voted for Madrid and Sarkozy will never know it. It will only keep some IOC members to openly pledge their votes.

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Or bribery?

If bribery was in place, the US would be likely win. The big bribery scandal of the IOC was when an American city was elected to host the WOG. Atlanta's election was also surrounded by bribery allegations.

Bribery is not endemic in developing countries. And even in developing countries, it is often done by American and European multi-nationals.

With the reputation of Chicago politics, if bribery was a big factor, Chicago may have done better.

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There would be no fuss had Chicago gained 4-5 more votes and made it to the final round.

Mo,

But, on their side, it is important for the US to understand its defeat. If they saw it coming it would be different. I guess the big lesson is that to win a bid they must come closer to the IOC.

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I think they should change the voting to this:

Still a secret ballot, but each member list out their 1st, 2nd, 3rd.... last choice in one ballot. Tally up the 1st choice votes, if there is no majority, the city with the least votes are tossed out and those that voted for the eliminated city will have their 2nd choice vote added to the total. So on and so forth until a city has won the majority.

This way they can eliminate the wacky voting results in the first round. The logistics will be a bit more complicated though for the technicalities.

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Yes but in other ways, I doubt there would be all this firing and hiring had they made the final round and perhaps even won. Would people still be incompetent?

Maybe you are right, but that would only mean that they would insist on the same losing approach over and over again, until they found no suitable cities to compete with, and finally win. Losing in the first round might have been what was needed to raise a red flag for future bids.

Anyway, the Americans lost the Americas turn on the continent rotation, so this also means that they will wait for at least 8-12 years to be able to stage a successful bid again. I can see them going head-to-head with Toronto for that.

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Mo,

But, on their side, it is important for the US to understand its defeat. If they saw it coming it would be different. I guess the big lesson is that to win a bid they must come closer to the IOC.

The US should try to understand the meaning in the history of all their defeats for staging the olympics. It is very clear the IOC loves American Money and when Two Us hosts rescue the games on Three occasions but it takes nearly a century for the USOC to learn Bribery was the only way to win. Sadly The a USOC Candidate got caught and the US government wanted to investigate with congressionally and house hearings .

Really what are the games worth hosting for to an American city ?Bending over to pick up the Soap in the IOC prison Showers ?

Jim jones

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Maybe you are right, but that would only mean that they would insist on the same losing approach over and over again, until they found no suitable cities to compete with, and finally win. Losing in the first round might have been what was needed to raise a red flag for future bids.

Anyway, the Americans lost the Americas turn on the continent rotation, so this also means that they will wait for at least 8-12 years to be able to stage a successful bid again. I can see them going head-to-head with Toronto for that.

Frankly I can't see Toronto and here is why. The Pan Am Games for 2015 will probably be won by Toronto but the problem for Toronto is that they are heavily in Civic Debt not unlike Chicago . The Pan Am Games will have the share or Cost overrun problems for Toronto and the Opposition groups will have full ACES to say Imagine what would happen if we bid on the Olympics ? Canada only staged 33 years ago and it is usually nothing but a 50 year gap between games. The only viable option for the IOC to get back to the America's will be a US staged games. Canadian's have done their share in the Space of 44 years

Two Winter Games and one Summer. Vancouver 2010 being especially bad with the shipping out of the Homeless. Ordinary Citizens in North America are starting to question whether the Olympics indeed are worth the suspension of Civil Rights in host cities. Toronto's activist communities killed two Olympic bids and they are actually more successful then any other place in the World for doing that. The 2015 Pan Am Games will provide opponents with great local evidence that staging a 3 week sports festival is not good for the taxpayers of the city. The 1996 bid opposition in Toronto could point to Montreal 1976. As time fades memories their bullets might be not as effective . Provide the Pan Am Games in Toronto and they will use that to say nothing changes between Montreal 1976 and Toronto 2015 , Can you trust that a summer olympcis would be any different ?

I personally think Toronto would be a great host. Problem is whether the population supports it .

Jim jones

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Frankly I can't see Toronto and here is why. The Pan Am Games for 2015 will probably be won by Toronto but the problem for Toronto is that they are heavily in Civic Debt not unlike Chicago . The Pan Am Games will have the share or Cost overrun problems for Toronto and the Opposition groups will have full ACES to say Imagine what would happen if we bid on the Olympics ? Canada only staged 33 years ago and it is usually nothing but a 50 year gap between games. The only viable option for the IOC to get back to the America's will be a US staged games. Canadian's have done their share in the Space of 44 years

Two Winter Games and one Summer. Vancouver 2010 being especially bad with the shipping out of the Homeless. Ordinary Citizens in North America are starting to question whether the Olympics indeed are worth the suspension of Civil Rights in host cities. Toronto's activist communities killed two Olympic bids and they are actually more successful then any other place in the World for doing that. The 2015 Pan Am Games will provide opponents with great local evidence that staging a 3 week sports festival is not good for the taxpayers of the city. The 1996 bid opposition in Toronto could point to Montreal 1976. As time fades memories their bullets might be not as effective . Provide the Pan Am Games in Toronto and they will use that to say nothing changes between Montreal 1976 and Toronto 2015 , Can you trust that a summer olympcis would be any different ?

I personally think Toronto would be a great host. Problem is whether the population supports it .

Jim jones

JJ,

If Toronto was not planning on bidding for the SOG, it would not be bidding for the PanAms. It's clear that they want to use it as a rehearsal for the main event.

I think Toronto won't go over budget for 2015 because it doesn't need to. The requirements are very low, so it is baiscally useless if that is going to affect the Olympic bid.

In my opinion, however, the next SOG in the Americas won't come before 2028. If the Americans are smart they are going to bid with Chicago. 12 years should be enough for them to learn to play the IOC way. Toronto will probably be the main city on their way. If it doesn't bid, only a forgotten continent like Asia, if it gets no Games between 2008 and 2028, or Oceania, if their last host would be Sydney, might be a real opposition to a bid from the Americas.

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I think they should change the voting to this:

Still a secret ballot, but each member list out their 1st, 2nd, 3rd.... last choice in one ballot. Tally up the 1st choice votes, if there is no majority, the city with the least votes are tossed out and those that voted for the eliminated city will have their 2nd choice vote added to the total. So on and so forth until a city has won the majority.

This way they can eliminate the wacky voting results in the first round. The logistics will be a bit more complicated though for the technicalities.

Isn't that in essence the same as what's there today..except it's more complicated.

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