Michael Payne, a former International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive, wrote in a magazine article released Wednesday that Chicago’s bid leaders “totally missed the plot” ahead of the city’s first round elimination in the vote for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
According to Reuters, Payne wrote in SportsPro that Chicago’s early exit showed it never connected with the Olympic voters.
Payne was a senior strategy adviser to Rio de Janeiro, the newly-elected host city of the 2016 Summer Games.
Payne said in the article, “it was a surprise to watch a….legendary political machine so finely tuned and experienced as Chicago, who prided themselves as no other U.S. city on their ability to manage elections, telling people how they are going to vote before they even approach the polling station, so totally miss the plot”.
Reuters reports several IOC delegates, Chicago bid executive and analysts blamed errors by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), including a failure to build relations with delegates.
Payne said, “as the 18-vote first round so clearly showed, Chicago totally failed at the very first rule of elections, they never really understood the electorate and how to communicate with them.
“An Olympic bid is increasingly a communications campaign and in the end people will vote for who they like best, who they believe in most, who they can trust and the Olympic context that can offer them something more than just another Games”.
“When the results of the vote came through the world’s media were shocked. Shocked that Chicago had got it so wrong and gone out in the first round. Shocked that Rio had won by such a large margin”, Payne said.