Chicago suspects spite in Olympic vote

Oct. 3, 2009 at 2:42 PM
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CHICAGO, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Some Chicago officials say the Windy City never had a fair shot at landing the 2016 Olympics due to long-running anti-Americanism in the world.

Chicago was out of the running on the first ballot for the 2016 Summer Games that were awarded Friday to Rio de Janeiro.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported some local leaders suspected the International Olympic Committee had no intention of giving the prize to a U.S. city.

"I feel in my gut that this vote today was political and mean-spirited," said U.S. Rep. Susana Mendoza, D-Ill., who said she picked up a definite anti-U.S. vibe when she visited Rio five years ago.

Mendoza said the negative attitude was entrenched enough that even President Barack Obama, who has vowed to improve the U.S. image overseas, could not over come it.

"People are so much more welcoming of Americans now, but this isn't the people of those countries," she told the Sun-Times. "This is the leaders still living with outdated impressions of Americans."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said he was surprised Obama couldn't sway the vote; however, he speculated the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the rejection of the Kyoto global-warming treaty and other actions had built up too many hard feelings in recent years.

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