Washington, D.C., is attempting a feat that eluded Chicago three years ago: hosting the Olympic Games.
- Chicagoans didn’t really want the Olympics. Despite early enthusiasm, and a traveling sales pitch that visited every ward, residents turned against the Games. Part of this was disenchantment with the Daley Administration over the recently-passed parking meter deal. Even Chicagoans who wanted the Games didn’t trust Daley to honestly administer the contracts involved. As a federally-run city, D.C. is less liable to local corruption.
- Security. Chicago has an international reputation for violence that goes back to Al Capone. President Obama didn’t trust the city to provide security for both the NATO and the G-8 summits last year. The president of DC 2024, the city’s Olympic bid committee, called Washington “the safest and most secure city in the world,” due to the presence of federal agents who protect the president and Congress.
- It’s the capital. The last three Olympics have been held in capital cities: London, Beijing and Athens. Other world capitals to host Olympics include Paris, Helsinki, Berlin, Tokyo, Rome, Moscow, Seoul, Amsterdam and Stockholm. In the U.S., Washington has been passed over for St. Louis, Los Angeles and Atlanta.