Chicagoans shocked at IOC's voting result

10:57, October 03, 2009      

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Tens of Thousands of Chicagoans gathered at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago Friday morning found their Olympic dreams dashed quickly when the IOC announced the elimination of Chicago in the first round of IOC's voting in Copenhagen.

Confused, disbelief, disappointment and sadness are what you can see from thousands of people's faces at the Daley Plaza, right after the announcement of the elimination of Chicago from the two giant TV screens.

Just a few hours ago, braving through the morning chill in the fall of Chicago, tens thousands of enthusiastic Olympics supporters gathered at the Daley Plaza to show their passion and support to Chicago's bidding. Many of them were anxious but quite hopeful of Chicago's winning of the bid.

Lots of fans wore the orange Olympic T shirts and held a Chicago Olympic flag. Signs and banners were everywhere such as this one - "This is going to happen!!!" waved by a group of young people. Everybody were anticipating anxiously and shouting in a very loud collective voice "four, four, four"- the number assigned to Chicago by IOC right before the voting.

Unfortunately, just minutes later, at 10:15 am, all the enthusiasm fired up in the air and cheering noise came to a sudden stop when the shocking news was announced by the IOC. People started looking around and staring at each other in disbelief and confusion.

Mary Donfanso stood in total disbelief among the big crowd when she just finished an excited conversation with her family on her cell phone, telling them that she was right here at Daley Plaza waiting for the result. She said, "Chicago is a beautiful city andI am just shocked to hear we lost during the first round." Her husband Mike echoed her feelings, "this is just unbelievable and uncomprehedable. I thought it was going to be a tight vote between Rio and Chicago. I have no idea how could this happen unless it is political, because South America has never had the Olympics in the past."

Rose Arias, a grocery worker in Chicago, told Xinhua, "I can not believe we lost during the first round. I am very disappointed. I would have been satisfied to be in the final two. I don't know how the decision was made but it is just heartbreaking to be eliminated in the first round!"

However, Devin Kidner, a journalism student, had a positive perspective and believes that the most important. She said, "It is disappointing but I am also a fan of the world. I know it is still going to be great when Chicago finally get over the sadness and accept the winner city."

Dawn Zoe, another Olympic supporter said, "I am so disappointed to hear this news. I hope that Chicago will continue to pursue other opportunities to host such events in the future!"

A recent poll by Chicago Tribune showed that 47 percent of Chicagoans supported the games while 45 percent opposed the game. So now the game is not going to happen in Chicago, how do the opponents think about it?

Joe Cesarone, a computer scientist, said, "I am a big supporter of the Olympics, but the last thing Chicago needs is another opportunity to squeeze the already overburdened taxpayers to line the pockets of favored city contractors. Despite what Mayor Daley says, I am certain that this project would have gone way over budget and the good, hard-working people of this great city would have been forced to pay for it, one way or another."

Danny Boy is also happy that Olympics won't come to Chicago. He said, "The normal people in Chicago would have been stuck with tax burdens and high traffic. I am thankful that I will be able to enjoy the Olympics on my TV set for free rather than footing the bill!"

Chicago 2016 sent out an emailed thank-you note to supporters in Chicago and across the world. It said: "While we were not fortunate enough to be selected as host city, Chicago has won in many other ways."

Chicago Bid Chairman Patrick Ryan said pursuing the Games was worth it even though Chicago lost in the first round.

Source: Xinhua
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