Saturday, October 3, 2009

Don't blame it on Rio

Well, it has just been announced that Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 summer Olympics, making it the first South American city ever to host. Even more humiliating for US soft power is that Chicago lost in early voting, even though the Obamas arrived in Copenhagen to make the case for Chicago. Even Oprah showed up, which made me think Chicago was a shoo-in. Nobody can resist Oprah's power.

But the US has gotten the Olympics a lot, and it was just thirteen years ago that Atlanta had the summer games, and only seven years ago that they were in Salt Lake City. Ooh... Salt Lake City. No one should mention that.

And what does that mean for Pyongchang's (평창/平昌郡; p'yŏngch'ang-gun, aka Pyeongchang-gun) bid for the 2018 winter Olympics? Well, anything but a Tokyo win would have kept South Korea's hopes alive for a third shot at hosting the winter Olympics. Pyongchang came close in 2010 and 2014: it was in first place on the first ballot but just shy of a majority when the 2010 games were chosen, and it might have won in 2014 over the Russian summer resort of Sochi had Vladimir Putin not shown up. Vlad ripped off his shirt, threatened to cut off fuel supplies to Western Europe, effeminate Eurotrash swooned, and Korea became the forgotten candidate.

[above: Women at the summer resort of Sochi, host of the 2014 winter Olympics, come together to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of women in bikinis to form the word "Cosmo." No, I'm not making that up; see the link above.]

So Rio's win is good news for Pyongchang. Continental rotation favors the games going back to Asia for the next time around, and the infrastructure that's needed to host the global event — easy access by rail or air, hotels, games venues, etc. — is mostly in place by now or in the works.

In turn, if Pyonchang is awarded the 2018 winter games, that bodes extremely poorly for Tokyo's presumed bid for the 2020 games (same continent stuff, even though Japan is technically an archipelago). And it would all but destroy the joint Pusan-Pyongyang bid (yes, there really is one) for 2020. (A future Pusan-Pyongyang, Seoul-Pyongyang, Inchon-Pyongyang, or even solely Pyongyang bid, however, could become an instant sentimental favorite when reunification happens.)

But that's an issue for another day. In the meantime, congratulations, Rio de Janeiro! The 2016 Olympics are bound to be exciting down there. Just remember that your summer is our winter and our winter is your summer. Confusion could lead to catastrophe.


  1. It was truly disgusting, listening to conservative bloggers and talkshow hosts chortling over Chicago's elimination. Because it meant Obama had failed, you see...

  2. The Sanity Inspector wrote:
    It was truly disgusting, listening to conservative bloggers and talkshow hosts chortling over Chicago's elimination.

    Oh. I missed that.

    When I'm not in Seoul, I'm generally not riding home during Rush Limbaugh, so I miss my daily dose of Republican Talking Points. And sometimes that's probably a good thing.

  3. The Sanity Inspector wrote:
    Oh, and the Sochi rooskies are Teh Hawtness.

    I somehow doubt the hawt rooskies will be dressed like that when the winter Olympics come. Though who knows how cold it really gets there? The site was chosen over Pyongchang not because it was a better prepared or better venue, but because they were all scared sh¡tless by Putin. Seriously.

  4. Obama should be spending more time on all those pressing issues back at home instead of spending taxpayer money on joy rides on Air Force One. I'm starting to agree with McCain that he is all flash and no pan.

    I thought he already took a vacation to some of America's national parks, but then he went to the vineyard and hung out with Dave recently. When does he actually work?

  5. Like me, I think he gets a lot of work done on the plane.

  6. Unlike you, he's burning through over $50,000 in taxpayer money for each hour he sits on that plane when he as a perfectly good oval office to work in that doesn't pollute and further damage the ozone layer.

    Plus, I just saw the latest job numbers, so I don't think he is working hard enough on the truly important things that face the entire country instead of focusing on his pet projects.

  7. I am not surprised to see how brainwashed you Americans really are. McCain or Bush or Obama, same shit, all corporate sluts. If you didn't get that still-too bad for you !


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.