Top Olympic Bid Stories of 2009: #5 Anti-bid Website Created Mystery and Finger-Pointing Among Rivals

For the second year, is releasing our list of Top Ten Olympic Bid Stories for 2009. These stories, from the mainstream to the obscure, impacted the course of Olympic bids and formed an interesting plotline for 2009.

#5 Anti-bid Website Created Mystery and Finger-Pointing Among Rivals

In September, just days before the 2016 Olympic bid election, a Website surfaced that was either pro-Rio de Janeiro or anti-Chicago – depending on who you believed.

The Website was run anonymously, contained factual errors and appeared professionally designed. But the creator of the site told that his site was supported by typical Chicagoans who opposed the bid and would rather see the Games in Rio.

In fact, the anonymous writer said that his Website was flooding the IOC with messages from the public asking them not to elect Chicago – a claim that the IOC later denied was true. Speculation formed that this could be a conspiracy based in Rio designed to diminish Chicago’s chances.

The confusion began to make both Chicago and Rio bids look bad at the most critical moments of their campaigns. later found itself in the middle of this controversy when links were found between emails sent from to and posts made on the Website forums. These links pointed to the likelyhood that someone Rio-based was involved.

Both sides denied any connection and it was later found that the face behind the Website was a Chicago-based ad exec, seemingly having fun at others’ expense.

Was there a Rio connection? Read the links above and connect the dots.

Watch for story #4 tomorrow.

#6 – Three Cities in the Running for Second Youth Olympic Games in 2014
#7 – Social Media Becomes Critical Tool In Olympic Bidding
#8 – Too Many Cheesy Bidders In Italy
#9 – Hiroshima and Nagasaki Propose Joint Bid for 2020 Olympic Games
#10 – The Maldives to bid for the 2024 Olympics

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.