Alan Abrahamson, Los Angeles-based columnist for NBC Sports.com, is in Kuwait City with the International Olympic Committee and finds that anti-American sentiment will be the biggest obstacle to L.A. getting the summer games for a third time in 2016.
An American bid must confront and contend with the distinctive U.S. role as the world's lone superpower as well as resentment within the IOC over financial advantages the USOC has long enjoyed, according to more than 20 IOC members interviewed here, including all but a few of the IOC's policy-making executive board.
The United States has its eyes set on hosting the 2016 Olympics, after Beijing hosts in 2008 and London in 2012. Some of those interviewed said there's no question the U.S. should bid. "I think they should (bid) because one day we have go to back to the United States," one member said.
But others said a U.S. bid, no matter how credible, is likely to be doomed from the start.
"I wonder if it's wise," one member said. "The mood in the world is anti-American. Your president is a catastrophe."
Another said, referring to the most recent editions of the Olympics in the United States, the 2002 Winter Games and the 1996 Summer Games, "People after Salt Lake, they are upset. People after Atlanta, they are unhappy," adding, "People after 9/11, they are sad."
Still another: "The problem with the United States is entry into the United States. It is such a problem. It's easier to get to the moon … everyone is looked at as a potential terrorist."
I'm surprised they didn't complain about LAX being ugly — but they can't bitch about the traffic, since everyone remembers how blessed the city's commuters were for two weeks in 1984.
Guy gets around: Abrahamson has a hybrid beat for NBC. He writes mostly about the international Olympics scene and American football. Last weekend he was at the Coliseum for the USC-Notre Dame game.