I may have criticized Chicago’s Olympics bid, and, by implication, Obama’s support for it, but given that he did support it, I don’t (in a sense) blame him for doing his best to foist this scourge on his home town. As it happens, of course, Chicago’s ‘failure’ is in fact a success. As London is now discovering, winning the Olympics is (with very rare exceptions, such as Los Angeles in 1984), a curse, not a blessing. That’s why I opposed both New York and London’s bids for 2012.
Meanwhile, as an example of the transnationalist arrogance that permeates these wretched games, this from a commentary by Sandip Roy for the Huffington Post is a small, perfectly formed gem:
The most interesting quote I read about Chicago’s drubbing in the Olympic hosting race was a question from an I.O.C. member from Pakistan. Syed Shahid Ali asked how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Games because as he put it, coming to the US these days can be “a harrowing experience.”
Nobody would claim that United States’ visa process runs as smoothly as it should, but for a question/lecture like this to be posed, particularly from an I.O.C. member from a country with a terrorist/insurgent problem on the scale of Pakistan’s, is a characteristic demonstration of the mindset of the Olympics bureaucrat, and a reminder of how lucky Chicago has been.
Meanwhile I note that the 2014 winter Olympics will be held in Russia’s Sochi. Regardless of all its other, um, issues, Russia is not exactly famous for the user-friendlines of its visa process. Oh well.