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The debate surrounding Chicago's failed bid for the 2016 Olympic games has treated it somewhat like a zero-sum game, with the Windy City pitted against its primary rival (and the eventual winner), Rio de Janeiro. But Steve Clemons argues that everyone had something to gain by making Rio the host:


Tokyo, Chicago, and Madrid are all interesting cities -- but to succeed in refashioning international institutions to anticipate global realities over the next four to five decades, bi[g] developing nations like Brazil need to be the focus.

Americans should celebrate the choice of Brazil, he says, because it will increase goodwill as the country assumes an important role on the global stage. The Olympics are an important way of facilitating the transition from developing country to "responsible stakeholder" in the "global political order." Plus, Clemons concludes, the games will serve as a just reward for Brazil's successes at starting along that path:

Brazil is already doing a great deal in renewables, climate change, and broader political and economic stabilization efforts in the Southern Hemisphere to justify serious attention -- and it makes sense to continue the acknowledgment of Brazil's gains and course by the IOC granting Rio de Janeiro the 2016 Games.

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