Rio de Janeiro is bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Experts say the ability to organize events like the regional games is one of the key elements the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will take into consideration when it chooses the 2016 Summer Games host.As I've said before, I don't really think Tokyo or Madrid have a chance, given the general non-US-television-time-zone issue that will go to four straight Olympiads in 2012. If the IOC pushes it to five, I think they're committing financial suicide. I'm also pulling hard for Chicago, but I don't think they're going to win.
The IOC will have an opportunity the next few days at the 15th Pan American Games being hosted by Rio July 13-29. According to Kyodo, any problems in staging the Pan American Games could have adverse effects on Rio’s bid and boost the chances of its rivals that include Tokyo, Chicago and Madrid.
If Rio shows it can pull off the Pan-Am Games, I'd put them at the top of my board. Current odds for Rio are 11:2 (versus 7:4 for Chicago). Why am I picking against the bookies? Jacque Rogge and the rest of the IOC are pushing to get the games on all continents, and neither Africa nor South America have ever played host. If Rio does even a decent job with the Pan-Am Games, the political climate and economic realities all favor Brazil.