Speaking at a breakfast gathering of Chicago business leaders, Ryan said he believes many voters who actually supported Chicago thought the city's bid was strong enough that they could vote for other candidates from their regions in the first round.
"Had we gotten into the second round I'm not saying we would've won," Ryan said. "But it would have been a lot different."
"I don't think the world knows what they missed by not coming to Chicago."
Earlier, Mayor Richard Daley declared that the city's failed bid to land the 2016 Games was well worth the effort.
"You have to try!" the mayor told the packed gathering of business leaders at the Executives' Club breakfast.
"It brought out the best of Chicago. This journey has made us a better city."
Daley did not address the attempts to diagnose why Chicago lost so early, only saying "there will be quarterbacks," and that there was no point in looking back.
"I think we put everything on the field," Daley said. "We did our best."
"I wish we brought it back, but we didn't. It doesn't matter, because we did our best."