Anti-Chicago Bid Web Site Traced to Rio: Report

By Steve Bryant
|  Saturday, Sep 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:50 PM CDT
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A promotional web site ostensibly made by local Chicagoans who back Rio's bid for the 2016 Olympics was apparently created by Rio de Janeiro residents, according to a new report from Olympic bid-tracking site GamesBids.com.

GamesBids deduced the Rio connection when they discovered that one of their forum members, allegedly a representative for Chicagoans for Rio, was posting to the site from Rio.

The member was also cheerleading Chicagoans for Rio using two separate aliases, both traced to Rio.

GamesBids, which is run by Robert Livingston, an Olympic historian, was unable to confirm the identity of the web site's owners.

"These are characters," Livingston said. "That's all I can call them really. The more I looked at it, it just wasn't adding up."

The owners of Chicagoans For Rio remain anonymous and could not be contacted, but Livingston said they went to a lot of trouble to make their site look professional.

"To produce this video is quite a feat," he said referring to a video montage of Chicagoans advocating for the Olympics to go to Rio. "That makes me think there's something to this. There's money behind it becasuse they produced that video.

"If you're going to go through with that effort you're going to want to push it."

There is no indication at this time that the site is connected to any bid committee.

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