Although Chicago is rated as a slight favourite to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the BBC reports many commentators are describing the outcome as too close to call.
British International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sir Craig Reedie said, “this is a very, very close race between four outstanding bids. Because the bids are so good, and because it is close, the last few hours are going to be even more exciting than usual”.
The city receiving the fewest votes will be eliminated round-by-round until one candidate has a majority.
IOC President Jacques Rogge told the BBC, “I believe it’s going to be very close – this is a trend we have seen in the last five to six years.
He added, “security – not only physical but also in terms of the organization – it is very important. We need a very good Olympic Village, state-of-the art venues, a good transportation system. If beyond that we can have a very good home team and a very warm public, the game is almost over”.
British bookmakers say that Chicago was pulling away in the last hours as the clear but not overwhelming favourite over Rio, with Madrid and Tokyo lagging, reports Fox. But Graham Sharpe, spokesman for betting agency William Hill said, “…don’t forget that Paris was the favourite to beat London the last time. The favourite doesn’t always win”.
The bookmakers of Ireland-based Paddy Power say there’s a clear favourite in the betting on the 2016 host city. Paddy Power has collected about 700 bets on who may be the 2016 host city, reports WBBM.
Sharon McHugh, spokeswoman for Paddy Power, says Chicago’s odds are 8-15, while Rio is in second place at 15-8. But McHugh agrees anything can happen. She said, “this time four years ago we thought Paris had it in the bag, so we could get a shock”.
McHugh says it’s President Obama’s plans to go to Copenhagen that have pushed the odds so heavily in Chicago’s favour.