September 2, 2009

Report out ahead of 2016 Olympics vote

Polls conducted by international Olympics officials indicate strongest local support for the 2016 Summer Games in Madrid with Brazil's bid also popular.

The International Olympic Committee ordered a poll seeking public support for having the 2016 Olympics in each of the four candidate cities. The results were released Wednesday, one month before the vote to award the 2016 Games takes place, with an Evaluation Commission report. Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo are the finalists.

Respondents were asked how strongly they would support a city's bid. The poll was conducted Feb. 16-24. Other poll data weren't released.

The bid by Madrid was strongly supported or supported by 84.9 percent of respondents in the city and 85.8 percent overall in Spain. Rio pulled 84.5 percent strong support in the city and 68.9 percent overall in Brazil. Chicago received 67.3 percent backing from city residents and 61.1 percent in the United States. Tokyo's figures were 55.5 percent in the city and 54.5 percent in the country.

The Evaluation Commission report was generally positive for all four cities. Among potential problems pointed out, however, were the need for Chicago and Tokyo to build several competition venues, Madrid's organizational and financial challenges resulting from lack of delineation of various governmental bodies' responsibilities and Rio's lack of hotel rooms and proximity of hosting the 2014 World Cup.