I was stunned to turn on the TV this morning and learn that Chicago's bid was the first to be eliminated in the voting for the 2016 host city. All week the rumor had been that the real contest was between Rio and Chicago, with Tokyo in dead last, so when Chicago dropped out first...like I said, stunning. It continues to amaze me how overlooked Chicago is. When we were in Las Vegas we met two separate couples from the UK who, in addition to Las Vegas, were going to be spending part of their American vacation in L.A. I felt sorry for them! How weird is it that L.A. and Las Vegas are the cities that represent the U.S. to so many visitors? Honestly, of all the cities I've seen in this country, none has the natural beauty combined with the architectural magnificence (not to mentioned the richness of culture and history) of Chicago. I know I may be biased, but I think it is America's finest city.
And yet, poor Chicago, it is much maligned! I had a Spanish teacher in high school who said that when she told Europeans she was from Chicago they would invariably reply with either "Al Capone!" or "Bang, bang!" On our visit to South Carolina this summer a relative said about me "Well, I guess they can't say nothing good ever came out of Chicago." Um, thank you? I hoped that the Olympics would let the world see just what a great city we have, but I guess for the time being Chicago's greatness will continue to be our little secret.