Fair. Balanced. American.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Soul beats cool

Part two:

The geographic appeal was a strong argument that played to the Olympic ethos, according to Robert Livingstone, an expert in the closely watched but opaque Olympic bid business who reported from Copenhagen for his influential website GamesBids.com. “Rio had the emotion,” said Livingstone, who just before the voting began Friday, posted a story headlined “President Lula Stirs More Emotion Than President Obama in Final Presentation.”

But even soul can take you only so far. Here's the real reason Brazil may have won: it had the most expensive proposal. The country promised $14 billion to host the games. In our decentralized system, that's more than any state or local government in the United States can provide. And it was more than Madrid or Tokyo promised.

One other thing: beloved in spite and often because of its distance, Brazil is everyone's second favorite country. The vote progression proved it:

1st round:
Madrid 28
Rio 26
Tokyo 22
Chicago 18

2nd Round:
Rio 46
Madrid 29
Tokyo 20

3rd round:
Rio 66
Madrid 32

Madrid stayed stagnant. Every time a city dropped out, its votes seem to have gone to Rio.

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