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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."
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LONDON — Veteran U.S. sports executive Doug Arnot can add overseas experience to his resume after being given a leading role in the 2012 London Games.
Arnot was appointed Monday as director of games operations by London organizers looking to benefit from his experience helping run two Olympics in the United States.
He will be responsible for overall planning, coordination and delivery for the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, or LOCOG.
"Joining LOCOG is another fantastic chapter in my life and I cannot wait to get started," said Arnot, who was also operations chief for Chicago's failed bid for the 2016 Olympics. "London 2012 is a unique challenge and one I could not pass up."
Arnot was an executive vice president of the 1994 World Cup in the United States before becoming managing director of venues and operations for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He then served as managing director for event operations at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.