I had a morning errand to run just as the first vote was taking place in Copenhagen. As I made my way home, minutes later, I saw people with Olympic flags and t-shirts heading toward the lake, away from Daley Plaza. That was all I needed to know that the first IOC vote had not gone in Chicago's favor.
I feel bad for Chicago. The Olympics would have been, well, fun. (I was in Rome for the entire Jubilee Year, and that was fun.) I was thinking of all the evangelizing opportunities an international event of that size would offer us (with our Michigan Avenue location)... And the impetus of preparing for the games had potential for pumping some vitality into very blighted areas near the proposed venues. It's hard to get that same kind of energy for change without a unique motivation. Addressing endemic poverty...seems a bit like the same old same old. So the poverty will remain, unchanged, unless those same Olympic cheerleaders roll up their sleeves and "stir the soul" right here at home. (Oprah, are you reading this?)