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Obama Congratulates Rio On Nabbing The 2016 Olympics

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COPENHAGEN, Oct. 2 — The International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janeiro over Madrid to host the 2016 Summer Games after eliminating Chicago in a stunning first round of voting Friday despite an unprecedented lobbying effort by President Obama.

Just hours after Obama left Denmark following a brief visit in which he made a personal appeal to the IOC on behalf of his adopted home town, Chicago received the least votes of the four competing cities in the first round. Tokyo fell out in the second round of the secret-ballot voting by more than 90 IOC members.

The victory for Brazil marked the first time that an Olympic Games had been awarded to a South American country. Huge crowds in Rio burst into cheers, applause and song at the news.

The fact that Rio prevailed was no surprise — the Brazilian bid was considered the sentimental favorite because the other contending countries have all hosted games in the past — but Chicago’s elimination in the first round produced audible gasps from those in the Bella Center ballroom where the voting took place.

“We’re deeply disappointed,” said Bob Ctvrtlik, a vice president of the U.S. Olympic Committee. “It was a strong bid, and I went around and heard the IOC say it was a strong bid. But the first round in these things [is] tricky. People are voting with their loyalties sometimes. It can be continental.”

Ctvrtlik speculated that the U.S. Olympic Committee’s failure to connect with the Olympic world at large might have hurt the bid. The USOC recently changed its president and chief executive, and the United States has not had a seat on the IOC’s executive board for years.

“The U.S. Olympic movement hasn’t engaged with the IOC in a long time,” he said. “I don’t think it’s anti-American, but we still don’t have the horsepower to do the politicizing.”

Most members of the Chicago delegation huddled behind closed doors immediately after the announcement. “We’re all in a room right now,” Larry Wert told the Universal Sports network by telephone. “Everyone’s staring at each other, hugging, starting to digest this.”

The United States has now suffered two crushing defeats in Olympic selections. In the race for the 2012 Summer Games, New York City finished fourth, but its bid had been damaged when its plans for a $1 billion Olympic stadium collapsed a month before the vote. London prevailed in the race for those Games.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva campaigned passionately for his country’s bid.

After the selection of Rio was announced, the Brazilian delegation in the ballroom erupted in a joyous celebration. Soccer great Pelé cried; Lula wrapped himself in the Brazilian flag; supporters sang and clapped.

“Rio had for the first time the opportunity,” said Willi Kaltschmitt, an IOC member from Guatemala. “The report of the commission was excellent. It was time to rotate.”

Kaltschmitt said he was surprised to see Chicago eliminated in the first round after the “great support” from President Obama.

“Chicago was not supposed to go out in the first round,” he said. “We all agreed it was among the [top] two bid cities competing. . . . The USOC will want to figure out what really happened.”

The choice of Rio marked the second time since 2001 that the IOC has opted to spread the Games around the world. Beijing won the right to put on last year’s Summer Games, even though many IOC members said Toronto had submitted a better bid.

The IOC’s evaluation team raised questions about crime in Rio, the lack of hotels and the spread-out nature of the venues.

Obama’s decision to lobby personally on behalf of his home city was considered a major boon to the U.S. bid. But considering the magnitude of the defeat, it now appears likely to face questions. Even before Chicago’s elimination was announced, critics had challenged the president’s priorities at a time when he is struggling with the issue of health-care reform, and some Chicagoans considered the Games a waste of taxpayer money. The United States has not held a Summer Olympics since the Atlanta games in 1996.

In his speech to the IOC, the first such address by a sitting U.S. president, Obama had emphasized Chicago’s diversity and America’s desire to bring the world together.

But his appeal — and an emotional speech preceding it by first lady Michelle Obama — failed to sway the IOC voters.

“Chicago, having obtained the least number of votes, will not participate in the next round,” IOC President Jacques Rogge said after reading the results of the initial balloting. The first round of electronic voting started shortly after 5:20 p.m. local time (11.20 a.m. EDT) and lasted about a minute.

According to tallies released later, Madrid received 28 votes in the first round, Rio 26, Tokyo 22 and Chicago 18. In the second round, Rio led with 46 votes, followed by Madrid with 29 and Tokyo with 20. In the final round, Rio prevailed by a 2-to-1 margin, outpolling Madrid by 66 votes to 32. The totals varied from round to round because IOC members are barred from voting when cities from their home countries are still in the running.

In Chicago’s Daley Plaza, a collective gasp of surprise and disappointment rose from several hundred people who had gathered to watch the vote on large screens next to a fountain with water dyed orange, Chicago’s bid color.

“I’m not shocked that we lost. I’m absolutely, completely shocked that we lost in the first round,” said Chicago sports marketer Jeff Bail.

Luciano Reyes speculated that Chicago was undone by a negative reputation internationally.

“The violence in the schools became an international issue, and all the corruption; the rest of the world just sees us as Crook Town,” said Reyes, 59, currently unemployed, who bought his first TV two decades ago specifically to watch the Olympics.

A crowd that had lined up early in the morning for free Olympic T-shirts quickly dispersed after the news.

“Maybe they were over-confident,” said accountant Tracy Arnswald, 25. “I was looking forward to celebrating, maybe next time.”

The defeat represented not just a blow to Chicago and the U.S. Olympic Committee, but also to Obama, who took a significant political risk by flying here to lobby personally for his home city.

Obama, who spoke in the crowded hotel ballroom shortly after his arrival in Denmark, had received lengthy applause as he capped a dynamic speech-and-video presentation by Chicago’s bid team. Chicago had led off a series of presentations by each of the competing cities hours before the IOC was scheduled to vote by secret ballot to choose a 2016 host city.

Obama and Michelle Obama, who flew to Denmark Thursday, later attended an informal reception with IOC members, then met with Queen Margrethe II and Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen before leaving the country aboard Air Force One. They were en route back to Washington during the IOC’s voting and subsequent announcements. Obama spent about five hours in Copenhagen.

Obama, who sat next to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley with the other members of Chicago’s bid team before and after his address, listened intently to questions posed by IOC members after he spoke. He even stepped in to respond to an IOC member from Pakistan, who expressed concern about the “harrowing” process of getting into the United States for Olympic visitors.

“One of the legacies I want to see coming out of” the Games, Obama said, “is a reminder that America at its best is open to the world.” He added, “We are putting the full force of the White House and State Department to make sure that not only is this a successful Games, but that visitors from all around the world feel welcome and will come away with a sense of the incredible diversity of the American people.”

Obama then gestured with his hand at the room, in which the IOC members sat behind rows of long tables.

“We’ve got everybody,” Obama said. “This could be a meeting in Chicago, because we look like the world. And I think that over the last several years sometimes that fundamental truth about the United States has been lost.”

The answer received applause.

During Rio’s presentation later, Lula said winning the bid to host the Olympics would mean more to his nation than to the others competing.

“I represent the hopes and dreams of 190 million Brazilians,” he said. “This bid is not just ours, but South America’s bid.”

Lula also said: “It’s time to light the Olympic cauldron in a tropical country.”

Tokyo, represented by new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and several members of the royal family this week, offered the most subdued presentation, focusing more on technical issues and logistics.

Madrid, meanwhile, brought out former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, a legendary figure in the Olympic movement, who made a personal plea to his former colleagues on the committee.

“I am 89 years old. I know I am near the end of my life,” he said. “Would you do me the honor of allowing my country to organize the Games in 2016?”

In his prepared remarks to the IOC, Obama said hosting the world’s athletes would be “a high honor and a great responsibility” and that America was “ready and eager to assume that sacred trust.”

Obama spoke to the IOC’s membership after an emotional address from Michelle Obama, a Chicago native who recalled the exposure to sports she got through her late father, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.

“He taught me how to throw a ball and a mean right hook better than any boy in my neighborhood,” she said.

“That’s why I’m here today,” Michelle Obama said. “I’m asking you to choose Chicago. I’m asking you to choose America. And I’m not asking just as the first lady of the United States who is eager to welcome the world to our shores. . . . I’m also asking as a daughter. . . . My dad was my hero.”

President Obama then attempted to emphasize how Chicago represented the Olympic ideals through its diversity and working-class culture.

In his quest as a young man for a city to call home, he said, “I came to discover that Chicago is that most American of American cities, but one where citizens from more than 130 nations inhabit a rich tapestry of distinctive neighborhoods.” And he evoked his election as president last November, when he said people from all over the world gathered in Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the returns.

“Their interest wasn’t about me as an individual,” Obama said. “Rather, it was rooted in the belief that America’s experiment in democracy still speaks to a set of universal aspirations and ideals. Their interest sprung from the hope that in this ever-shrinking world, our diversity could be a source of strength.”

He stressed that he chose Chicago as a home 25 years ago because of the city’s multicultural offerings — not just because of Michelle Obama’s power of persuasion.

But he quipped, “After getting to know her this week, I know you all agree she’s a big selling point for the city.”

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    Posted 5 years ago at 2:20 pm. Add a comment

    Donnie McClurkin Calling Out “Pimpin” Preachers

    Febone1960.net would like to thank Rich McClain for the following article.

    Pastor Donnie McClurkin Perfecting Faith Church

    Pastor Donnie McClurkin

    This past week, popular preacher, recording artist and pastor, Donnie McClurkin, pastor of the Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York, went on record to declare his deep disappointment with what he sees as pastoral abuses in the body of Christ.

    Pastor McClurkin’s comments have raised a legitimate question about abuse and excesses in the body of Christ and has brought attention to a topic that has largely been ignored in the church community.

    In an article appearing in Essence this past week Pastor McClurkin is quoted as saying:

    “As pastors, we have to link arms and have bi-partisanships. The [Black] church has always been the face of the community. Now we have to take on the responsibility of becoming true servants to the people from all walks of life. I get so mad when I see these pimpin’ preachers driving Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, flying around in their private jets, and making it seem like prosperity and money is the way of God when 90 percent of your congregation is on Section 8 or can’t figure out how they are going to keep their lights on or feed their kids. I’m big on perception, and what would it look like for me to live so lavishly if the people in my church are struggling?” says Pastor McClurkin in the article.”

    In venting his frustration over the behavior of some in the church community, Pastor McClurkin reveals his own humility and sense of service to God and God’s people, by outlining his own relationship, financial and otherwise, with his church and his refusal to take revenue from a congregation that he has built from the ground up.

    “I’ve done great in gospel music, and only a few of us have accomplished what I have, and guess what? I live in the ‘hood, not some place on the outskirts of the ‘hood. There ain’t no gate around my house; I have a white fence because the people I pastor live in that community. I have one vehicle and it’s not a Mercedes, it’s a Lincoln Navigator. I don’t receive a dime-not an Abraham Lincoln copper coin-and haven’t for the last seven-and-a-half years because I’m okay.” He tells Kenya Byrd of Essence Magazine.

    As such, Pastor McClurkin has become a model and an example for others to emulate. His mentality and actions, that places a greater emphasis on service than profit, can only be admired by all of those who love the Lord and are seeking to do His will to the best of their ability. Pastor McClurkin makes it clear that he has options, but chooses to live a modest and humble lifestyle because that’s what God has called him to do.

    If I wanted to buy a Phantom or Bentley I could and not hurt my pockets, but I’m okay with what I have. I can sing and work and I have all that money go back into the church so we can buy the delicatessen on the corner, or the house next door to make it state-of-the-art low-income housing. We’ve trained our people to put their leaders on pedestals, and some people want to live vicariously through their pastor and say, “My pastor has this and he’s on television and so on,” but then what do you have? How have you prospered and grown? So when I hear other pastors say, “My people take care of me,” I’m thinking, But you’re supposed to be taking care of the people. I just don’t get it. Pastor McClurkin goes on to say.

    What is best gleaned from the wisdom and honesty of Pastor McClurkin is his healthy attitude about the church and who it belongs too. His “ecclesiology”, which is worthy of our consideration, perhaps best represents what Christ had in mind when He gave pastors to the body of Christ in the first place.

    I don’t have a church, but I do have a church that I pastor. I can’t name something the Donnie McClurkin Temple because the people do not belong to me and if they did that would mean I have slaves. I am simply a vessel to deliver God’s word. At the end of the day, it’s God’s church, not mine advises Pastor McClurkin.


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      Posted 5 years ago at 8:46 am. Add a comment

      Chicago Eliminated As Host of 2016 Olympic Games

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      Chicago and Tokyo were eliminated after the first round of voting on contenders to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, leaving Rio de Janiero and Madrid to contend for the bid.

      Chicago was hoping to become the first U.S. city to host the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996 and the first to host any Olympics since Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games in 2002.

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        Jordan, Winfrey, Forbes and Copenhagen, Oh My!

        According to Forbes magazine’s 2009 list of the 400 richest Americans released this week, TV talk queen Oprah Winfrey’s net worth is estimated at $2.3 billion, down $400 million from last year. Losing $400 million can’t be among her favorite things.

        Of course this figure is just 8 million dollars shy of Michael Jordan’s estimated net worth.

        Both experienced fame and fortune in the windy city.

        Winfrey who is in Coppenhagen to assist in bagging the 2016 Olympics admits that Chi town has been good to her so she had no problems being present.

        Not true for Air Jordan whose absence was brought to light as a snub by former soccer star Pele who is representing Brazil. Of course as seen above, Pele did have some confusion between Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson.

        Blame it on his time in Tampa Bay with the Rowdies.

        Scheduling conflict was sited as the reason for one of the most popular resident’s absence.

        Perhaps Jordan who is the managing partner of the Charlotte Bobcats is too busy trying to raise funds to become the majority owner of the franchise.

        Former BET owner Bob Johnson is looking to get out of Basketball and thinks that Jordan would be a good owner and is open to selling the franchise to him.

        In addition to looking for investors, Jordan may also be busy building his new digs which is far away from the windy city. The recent inductee to the Basketball Hall of Fame, is building a new castle in Jupiter, Florida. The former NBA star will become the latest resident in the Bears Club, a posh golf community developed by Jack Nicklaus.

        The former NBA star slammed $7,627,669 down to build his future two story home located at 172 Bears Club Road that will include an elevator, grand stairway, and a fireplace. The two adjacent lots alone cost Jordan $4.8 million and since then he has paid $152,553 to the town in permits.

        Within the walls of the 37,943-square-foot mansion, will be 10-foot ceilings, 11 bedrooms and a yet-to-be-determined number of bathrooms, while also on the premise will be a guard gate and a guest cottage. This new home will tower over his already complaining neighbors, who’s homes average about 10,000-square-feet.

        The final pitch was made this morning by no other than our Commander and Chief, President Barack Obama.

        The decision should be announced around noontime.

        Chicago getting the nod will be good news for Winfrey. Although she lost the 400 mil, Oprah who is No. 141 on the Forbes list, is up from No. 155 in 2008. Winfrey would probably rather be back at 155 with her 400 mil intact.

        Winfrey was among 314 of those listed to see their net worth drop in the last year.

        Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates keeps his spot at the top. This year, he’s worth $50 billion, down by about $7 billion.

        His buddy, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett, stays in second. He’s at $40 billion, down 20 percent from his 2008 listing.

        Although Jordan is not on the list, he gave a very touching acceptance speech during his hallof fame induction.

        Take a look below and see what you think.

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          Posted 5 years ago at 5:40 am. Add a comment