By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
September 12 - Chicago's humiliating failure to win its bid to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics had nothing to do with the decision of Richard Daley to step down as Mayor of the city, he claimed today.
Daley, who became Chicago's Mayor in 1989 and been re-elected five consecutive times, has announced that he will not stand next year.
Chicago's unsuccessful bid to be awarded the Olympics was among the reasons cited by critics as being behind his decision.
Chicago started the campaign as the clear favourites but ended up being eliminated in the first round of voting in Copenhagen last year as Rio de Janeiro were awarded the Games.
"That was not my bid," said Daley in an interview published today in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"That was the United States of America's bid from the City of Chicago.
"That was not Mayor Daley's bid.
"I would have made the same decision [to retire] if we got it.
"Because it was in the good hands of [Chicago 2016 chairman] Pat Ryan and [Chicago 2016 President] Lori Healey and others.
"But again I'm the Mayor, I take responsibility, but it wasn't my bid."
Daley also claimed that he was not too disappointed with the snub delivered to Chicago, which would have been the first American city to host the Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996.
"It was no blow because, hey, Rio de Janeiro has lost the last 20 years, Madrid has lost 20 years," he said.
"It was our first opportunity.
"We never went through the bidding process, most cities lose four or five times."
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