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NEW ORLEANS — The ousted CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee said changing leadership and strained relations with international Olympic officials were "far secondary" factors in Chicago's failed bid host the 2016 Summer Games.
"The headline should be: Rio won the bid. Chicago did not lose the bid and Chicago did not lose by bidding," said Jim Scherr, whose forced resignation in March upset leaders of the various American Olympic teams.
Speaking at the Travel and Management Events in Sports convention in New Orleans on Wednesday, Scherr said Rio de Janeiro had advantages that Chicago couldn't overcome.
For one, he said, many members of the International Olympic Committee believed it was time to grant the games to a city in South America, a continent that has never hosted an Olympics.
"The IOC and the IOC president Jacques Rogge wanted to plant the flag of the Olympic movement and the Olympic Games in South America," Scherr said. "Jacques Rogge wanted that, I believe, as part of his legacy as president of the IOC, to go to another continent with the Olympic Games."