I hadn't even been aware that today was decision day for the 2016 Olympic venue candidates until I caught about two seconds on the news this morning. So I had a quick rummage around on the internet in an attempt to ascertain which city is favourite. The first two results that came up - dated early September - said Tokyo is the favourite. The third and fourth results, from the last day or two, said Chicago is the slight favourite in a very close race, with only Tokyo now thought to be out of the running. That's quite a turnaround in the space of a few weeks, and I can't quite work out how it's happened. The only explanation I can find as to why Tokyo might not be considered suitable is that it's too close geographically to the 2008 host city Beijing - but wasn't that fact already known in early September?
Anyway, perhaps it's wrong of me, but my instinct is to hope that any city but Chicago wins, for two main reasons. The Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984, in Atlanta in 1996 - is there some kind of unwritten law that the games have to be held in the US at least once every two decades? Given that no South American city has ever been host, yet another trip to the US really would seem like overkill. My second reason is the sight of Barack Obama arriving in Copenhagen to press the case for Chicago. How is Brazil, Spain or Japan supposed to compete with that kind of stardust? And more to the point, why should they need to? I could never quite understand how Tony Blair supposedly had such an impact in sneaking London's victory four years ago, given that a) London is London regardless of whether it has a PM with a winning smile (yuck), and b) he was never going to be PM in 2012 anyway, so any assurances he offered the delegates were fairly meaningless. (Some would say all Blair assurances were meaningless in any case.)
On the basis that it's South America's 'turn', I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for Rio tonight.