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Chicago Olympics: U.S. Olympic Committee's New Deal Could Lead To Another Bid

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In this Oct. 2, 20099 file photo, a Chicago 2016 supporter reacts after Chicago was eliminated on the first vote in its bid to host 2016 Summer Olympic Games during an announcement ceremony at Daley Plaza in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
In this Oct. 2, 20099 file photo, a Chicago 2016 supporter reacts after Chicago was eliminated on the first vote in its bid to host 2016 Summer Olympic Games during an announcement ceremony at Daley Plaza in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

A new revenue-sharing deal reached this week between the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee could pave the way to a second Second City bid -- perhaps for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Chicago, of course, was dealt a humiliating loss in 2009 in its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics when the city was eliminated in the first round of voting. The games were eventually awarded to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

But on Thursday, the USOC and IOC announced they have entered into a new revenue-sharing agreement that addresses the main reasons why Chicago -- and New York, before it -- lost in their respective bids to host the first American Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996.

Crain's Chicago Business's Greg Hinz writes that the news could have big ramifications in Chicago:

Now that the fight is over, USOC officials are saying they'll again consider backing any American city that wants to bid. Since Chicago wowed the USOC last time, it likely could have the prize again this time, I'm told.

Chicago was among the seven U.S. cities that expressed interest in bidding on the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Chicago Tribune reported last fall, but the USOC refused to get behind any of their bids. And given Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push to up international tourism in Chicago, despite vocal opposition to a certain recent event, a new Chicago Olympic bid is not at all inconceivable.

But would a new push for Olympic hosting duties be a good thing for Chicagoans? Dave Zirin of The Nation, an outspoken critic of the city's 2016 Olympic bid, described Chicago's loss as "a victory for the people of Chicago." Many also described New York's Olympic bid loss ultimately as "a win" for the city.

The A.V. Club's Marcus Gilmer points out in a Friday column that the Crain's column and subsequent iterations are largely speculative at this point. But as for the question of whether Chicago should take another crack at Olympic hosting duties, Gilmer writes:

The argument that the Olympics always leaves its host city in debt for years is old and was repeated numerous times leading up to the 2016 vote. But it certainly is worth repeating in all caps, bolded, and italicized: THE OLYMPICS ALWAYS LEAVES ITS HOST CITY IN MASSIVE DEBT FOR YEARS. … Meanwhile, the city’s schools are struggling, the CTA is crumbling, and the city’s poor remain poor.

The recent agreement, meanwhile, is also good news for Denver, which is among the cities that have expressed an interested in hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake City hosted the last Winter Olympics held on American soil in 2002.

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