The Olympics, for all their marketing and sponsorship hoo-haa, drug scandals and cliche-ridden pomp, are still quite the sporting status symbol. We can still see the shine on Vancouver from 2010 and London certainly stepped up for the Games last summer.
So what makes a good host city? Is it an ability to organize? The quality of venues? Well, the IOC is pretty demanding in its protocols so organization is a sort-of must. And venues haven’t been a problem for a long while. But a host city needs a certain stature or selling point. London. Beijing. Athens. Sydney. All world capitals or, in the case of Athens, the birthplace of the Olympiad itself. Traditionally, the Winter Games have been hosted in smaller, more eclectic centres like Vancouver, Lake Placid, Turin, Nagano, and Lillehammer.
Earlier this week, ESPN reported that the United States Olympic Committee is poking around for potential American hosts for the 2024 Summer Games. However, the names of prospective metropolises may surprise you. Seeing as New York and Chicago had bids turned down for the 2012 and 2016 Games, respectively, the USOC seems to be taking a different tack. Imagine, the 2024 Summer Games coming to you live from… Tulsa, OK. Or Columbus, OH. No offense to those cities, but, seriously? Maaaaybe for a Winter Games if they had some snow, but the Summer Olympics? The big show? No way.
In the spirit of bizarro Olympic bidding, here’s a few other cities that should never, ever, ever put their name in the hat to host the five-ring circus.
Juarez, Mexico: This is the heart of Mexican drug cartel violence that has killed more than 50,000 people in the last five years. Last year the mayor ordered all police to stay in city hotels to avoid attacks on the way home from work after a drug gang threatened to kill an officer per day if their chief refused to resign.
San Pedro Sula, Honduras: Highest murder rate in the world, y’all!
Cleveland, OH: Because “it leads the nation in drifters” and a whole lot of other reasons.