Will The United States Ever Host the Olympics Again?

October 2, 2009 at 10:45 am | Posted in American politics | 3 Comments

It seems that the main reason against the United States may end up being how unwelcome foreigners tend to feel upon entering the United States:

In the official question-and-answer session following the Chicago presentation, Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, asked the toughest question. He wondered how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Games because doing so can sometimes, he said, be “a rather harrowing experience.”

Mrs. Obama tapped the bid leader Patrick G. Ryan, so Mr. Obama could field that question.

“One of the legacies I want to see is a reminder that America at its best is open to the world,” he said, before adding that the White House and State Department would make sure that all visitors would feel welcome.

Before George W. Bush fucked everything up, America used to be a welcome place to foreigners. Maybe after we stop being afraid of everyone, and stop fighting everyone, we might be a more welcome place. But sadly, I think a whole generation of Americans need to pass away before that can happen.

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  1. Agreed that America isn’t as welcoming as it used to be to foreigners. But really, it isn’t just America. Last year Russia got the bid for the 2014 Olympics. I’ve been in and out of Russia many times in the last 5 years and let me tell you, they aren’t so welcoming either. Same issues with visas, more security, more countries on their blacklist, etc.

  2. Edward,

    But that’s actually expected from Russia. They’ve always been that way. Do we really want to be compared to Russia?

  3. my son had a job last summer in the US. A genuine bona fide job with a genuine American company. To get the employment visa, he had to go to the Embassy in London for an interview. No phones/bags/refreshments allowed in the compound- given he travelled over 500 miles, he had to leave his things in a left luggage facility several miles away. He waited for hours, despite having had a timed appointment, and then he had a one on one interview in a dingy room with a thoroughly unpleasant official who refused to believe he intended to return home to complete the final year of his degree at one of our most prestigious universities. Eventually his application- for a 3 month job- was accepted. He was close to saying ‘I wouldn’t want to stay in your country a minute longer than I need to’ but restrained himself, because he did want the experience.

    We are not allowed to enter the US for holidays now unless we have completed an online visa application in advance- never mind elderly peeps without internet, or emergency travel. A colleague returned from Vegas last week and she said she also had to fill out three forms on the plane and waited hours in immigration and then customs. Imagine that chaos multiplied by the number of visitors who would want to attend the Olympics.


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