As the confetti clears from Rio de Janeiro's Olympic win, the U.S. contingent has begun to look for reasons that the Chicago bid lost so spectacularly. If it's the United States Olympic Committee asking, the chair of NBC Sports says that they might want to look in a mirror.
"They don't need to have any more Congressional reforms," Dick Ebersol (pictured) said, referring to the hearings that led to USOC reorganization in 2003. "Just get real leaders. You've either got people who were hired by search firms or people who don't care enough to make it their full time jobs."
Instability at the top levels of the USOC has been the norm. Jim Scherr was pushed out as CEO in March, and the current acting CEO, Stephanie Streeter, has been less-than-emphatic in her commitment to the job. Larry Probst, chairman of the board of the USOC, also hasn't shown the world that he is too thrilled with his position.
Probst and Streeter have both avoided working the international sports political scene. Neither one attended an important International Olympic Committee meeting in June. Since they are both perceived as inexperienced, they should not be missing anything that could give them a chance to get to know other players in the international sports world.
Probst's position is volunteer, but Streeter is paid more than a half million dollars a year. She can't be bothered with going to a meeting that was crucial to Chicago's bid?
"It is my feeling that everything which happened (at the USOC), all the changes of people, the information about salaries which were paid, (it) probably played a certain role and did not give full confidence," IOC member Denis Oswald said when asked for an explanation of how a strong Chicago bid went out in the first round.
If there is any characteristic that is found in every single Olympian -- from curlers to gymnasts to skiers to wrestlers -- it is dedication. Olympians exhibit a near-psychotic dedication to their sport. It's quite a slap in the face to these athletes when the leaders of the USOC can't show the dedication that their job requires.