I bet you did not know there are positive outcomes of unsuccessful Olympic bids.
Researchers from three countries were paid by the International Olympic Committee to find them. No Games Chicago organizers Bob Quellos and Tom Tresser spent hours with this project going over our experience in Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics. None of our information, experience or insights made into the 2017 document. [download the study->Examing positive outcomes of unsuccessul Olympic bids]
Chicago does not want the truth told about this scam. The report states “Many of the key players involved in the Chicago bid are still sensitive about the outcome of the bid
. This fact created an obstacle for interview data collection as some individuals were simply not interested in talking about it, while others were willing to talk but remained upset about the situation. A good case in point was while we were in Chicago completing data collection, it was brought to our attention that the Mayor’s office had caught wind of our project and that we were in town asking questions. As a result, they sent out a department wide memo asking staff not to speak to us about the bid.” No kidding.
You are going to laugh out loud when you read how these researchers contorted themselves to find “positive outcomes” from Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics.
Here’s one of my favorites:
While the city and the bid committee did have both positive and negative experiences when trying to put the bid together, overall there was feeling that there was unification within the city. The city’s culture was described this way by one of the interviewees:
“Chicago is a city of neighbourhoods, you may have heard this expression, you know, we have many political wards, we have many different neighbou
rhoods representing different ethnicities. The city remains, unfortunately, quite segregated on many dimensions, and we found quite quickly that although there was pushback in certain quarters against the bid, from an emotional perspective particularly, the bid was a tremendously unifying experience even as it was divisive. It was extraordinarily unifying.” (Interview #26, 2017- Bid Team Member)
Naturally, there was no mention of No Games Chicago in this report to the IOC.
Here’s what Tom Tresser wrote to the researchers:
I am not sure we are talking about the same Chicago Olympic bid. Your report says current city staff were instructed NOT to talk to your team – that’s amazing – but consistent with the way this corrupt and arrogant city operates.
The Olympic bid process I experienced was nothing like what you present to your IOC masters. You are not doing them any favors by making it appear that there were positives from this public scam.
I could not believe the ludicrous nature of some of the quotes presented and the points your team made – what a stretch and it beggars reality.I would have to say that virtually none of the claims you report actually hold water. Whatever illusionary or gauze-like benefits you might fabricate for this document are vastly out weighed by the negatives of what we at No Games Chicago call “The Battle for the Bid.”
The 2016 committee raised over $90 million and that included $6 million from local foundations who should’ve been focusing on the housing melt down that has left Chicago in 2018 with the most homes under water in America. The entire bid process suffocated and suborned democracy and public policy discussions here – we’ve had more public debate about where to site a dog beach than there was about the merits of the bid – that is, outside of the 50+ public meetings No Games participated in. The City Council folded and rubber stamped this scam and every public policy shop and so-called watch do agency remained on the sidelines. The local media abrogated their reporting responsibilities and became an echo chamber for the completely fabricated economic impact claims of the organizing committee and their hired flacks. But surely, you know all this. If you don’t then you are not asking the right questions or talking to the people who really understood that the bid for the 2016 games was just another of a long string of top-down concrete-heavy clout-powered projects here that tout neoliberal goals of tourism, downtown focused development and “city beautiful” end games.Ironically, you left out the greatest plus from the sordid process – and that is the on the ground activism and push-back on bull shit projects that we build and which continues to this day in the form of a cadre of informed and effective organizers who are focused on real community development that fronts social justice, equity and grassroots prosperity over mega-projects that enrich the few over the welfare of the many. I doubt the IOC is interested in learning about that.So you are just the latest in a long series of academics and journalists who have refused to acknowledge the work of No Games Chicago and what we accomplished with no resources. You can not write out us of history.You conclude with some friendly advice to the IOC on how to make their bidding process better. You throw a bone toward anti-Olympic activists by urging bidders to “Engage local community groups from the outset.” Are you completely delusional? The full force of the mayor’s office and his bid team spent two years seducing, lying to and threatening all sorts of community groups. Our local City Council members surrendered all oversight in the face of the mayor’s power and wrath at opposition. There was no money, support or press to speak of for opponents to the bid. Do you people completely lack an understanding of how big city politics work when developers and monied interests smell fat profit and the public welfare be damned?
I’m really sorry I wasted my time opening up to your team. I did not get paid a dime for opposing the bid here. The local press blacked us out and refuses to acknowledge our work after all these years and even after the major local press here all re-canted their support for the bid in light of the disasters that befell Rio. We were spied on by the Chicago police and we are seeking to learn the full extent of their surveillance operations. You, on the other hand, were paid to produce this whitewash and it really annoys the hell out of me.
It serves me right for hoping naively that you all were interested in telling the truth about Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics.