The sports world rippled with a sad reminder of Chicago’s failed Olympic dream Wednesday, as Tokyo, a former Chicago competitor for the 2016 Games, unveiled its logo for a 2020 bid.
Chicago was considered a favorite, and Tokyo a long shot for the 2016 Olympics. But the Japanese capital edged out Chicago by four votes in the first round of voting in Copenhagen two years ago. Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the 2016 Games on the third ballot.
In special ceremonies in Tokyo Wednesday, bid committee members unveiled their new trademark, featuring an arrangement of cherry blossoms, which designers say symbolize “the concepts of friendship and peace.”
Six cities are competing to host the 2020 Olympic Games. In addition to Tokyo, applications have been submitted by Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; Istanbul, Turkey; Madrid, Spain; and Rome, Italy. The United States, and more specifically, Chicago, did not make an effort to enter the 2020 contest.
Indeed, even the biggest booster of the failed 2016 bid, former Mayor Richard Daley, warned last fall against another try.
"You have to look at the world," Daley said. "The Olympics have never been in India. They’ve never been in Africa, and they haven’t been in the Middle East. So those three parts of the world will come first."
Tokyo previously hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964. Japan has hosted the Winter Olympics twice: the 1998 Games in Nagano, and the 1972 Games in Sapporo. Rome is the only other bidding city to have previously hosted the Summer Olympic Games.