? Andrew Finkel (@FinkelAndrew) September 8, 2013
For the International Olympic Committee, environmental concerns in Japan appeared less urgent than the Syrian war on Turkey?s border, a harsh crackdown against antigovernment protesters recently in Istanbul and Spain?s economic recession and high unemployment.
Although Istanbul, the Turkish metropolis, did better than many expected in finishing second to Tokyo, it lost a fifth attempt to host the Games. They would have been the first held in a predominantly Muslim country.
Some I.O.C. delegates had expressed reluctance trying to forecast Turkey?s political situation seven years from now, given regional instability, what some critics in the country call the autocratic governing style of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and a divide between secularists and Islamists.
Disappointment of Tokyo winning the bid accompanied by relief from Istanbul anti-Games protesters and joy in Barcelona
As any Olympian will tell you, coming second or third doesn’t feel so great, especially when it’s a winner-takes-all race….
subway lines of three cities compared:
Tokyo was selected to host the 2020 Summer Games, beating out Istanbul and Madrid in a major victory for a country still recovering from a nuclear plant meltdown.