Oct 052009
Authors: Andy Kruse

Last Friday, thousands of people stood depressed and silent in downtown Chicago as the International Olympic Committee announced that the city was eliminated from the race for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Some then cursed the huge TV screens showing the event while some sat down and cried.

It’s not surprising that we didn’t win the games. Do you really think the United States deserves the nomination?

No. There are many reasons why we may not have won, but two stand clear: the economic depression and Iraq.

For almost the past year, we have sent the world into an economic panic due to our selfish and destructive banking practices.

And we recently showed complete disregard for the international community by going against the wishes of the United Nations and staging a war in Iraq. It was even a war based off faulty evidence.

Is this the sort of example the host of a worldwide, peacefully uniting sports event should display? Not regular no, but hell no.

So how did Chicago, a city that is known for its corruption, expect to win the vote to hold the games?

South America has never hosted the Olympics before. The Brazilian carnival city of beaches, mountains and romance deserves the games. The people of the United States should show some respect and congratulate Rio de Janeiro.

Instead, many are stunned.

“I was shocked, I was disappointed, I couldn’t believe it,” Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said to CBS after the decision.

Others are using the loss for political gain. Republicans accused Obama of wasting time and skirting his responsibilities by going to Copenhagen to pitch a bid for the nomination.

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity actually erupted into applause upon hearing the news, saying that the failure questions Obama’s influence as an international diplomat.

These reactions are arrogant and embarrassing.

We once again have a leader that is respected in the world, but that doesn’t mean everyone will instantly take the United States back with open arms. It’s going to take time and years of making the right decisions for our country to regain respect in this world.

The denial of our Olympic bid is just one of many lessons in humility that our country needs.

Andy Kruse is an anthropology graduate student. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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