Used To Losing, Chicagoans Still Wounded

Chicagoans are stunned that their city was eliminated in the first round of IOC voting. This is a town that roots for the Cubs, the Bears and the Sox. They are accustomed to losing. But this loss was particularly painful.

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

There were a lot of long faces in Chicago when the city learned it wasn't getting the 2016 Olympics.

NPR's David Schaper has the reaction from Chicago.

Mr. JACQUES ROGGE (President, International Olympic Committee): The City of Chicago, having obtained the least number of votes, will not participate in the next round.

(Soundbite of crowd)

DAVID SCHAPER: That collective gasp was uttered by thousands of Chicagoans gathered at Daly Plaza downtown for what they had hoped would be a victory rout. Instead, most stood silently stunned and bewildered, including Summer Alexander.

Ms. SUMMER ALEXANDER: I can't see what went wrong. I mean it's a damper on things. It's a downer.

SCHAPER: Ted O'Malley of suburban Park Ridge was...

Mr. TED O'MALLEY: Shocked. Disappointed. I had no thought whatsoever that (unintelligible) whatsoever.

Mr. EMMETT O'MALLEY: I thought we were going to win. I really thought we were going to win.

SCHAPER: And that's 11-year-old Emmett O'Malley. His dad, Ted, adds...

Mr. O'MALLEY: Well, that's the life of being a sports fan living in the city of Chicago.

Ms. ANNIE COLBERT: I feel like we're always the second city. It's never going to change. You know? So...

Mr. O'MALLEY: We're not even the second city though in this voting. We're the fourth.

Ms. COLBERT: Yeah, that hurts, ouch. We're like the Tulsa of the Olympics.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. COLBERT: Sorry, Tulsa.

SCHAPER: A disappointed Annie Colbert reached for some explanation for the IOC vote.

Ms. COLBERT: The sort of old school network of voting and that's how they vote.

Mr. O'MALLEY: Could Chicago have been out-politicked on this?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. COLBERT: I don't know if anyone can out-politic Chicago. That would probably be the biggest insult to the city.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SCHAPER: But some Chicagoans don't mind losing the Olympics. At a café called Zanzibar, Sobe Gugat(ph) pumped his fists with joy.

Mr. SOBE GUGAT: I was ecstatic. This is a great city and I'm really glad that the IOC isn't going to come here to destroy it.

SCHAPER: Austin Campion(ph) also wasn't eager to get the Olympics.

Mr. AUSTIN CAMPION: It's complicated and expensive and trafficky.

SCHAPER: But Campion admits this international rejection does sting a little.

David Schaper, NPR News, Chicago.

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