shawn johnson getty olympics 2020 Olympics: Rome, Istanbul, Doha among finalist cities

Starting saving your frequent flyer miles — the finalist cities for the 2020 Summer Olympics are all from across the Atlantic.

The six finalists who submitted their bids to the International Olympic Committee before Friday’s (Sept. 2) deadline are all from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Sorry, Ecuador, no shot put for you.  

The finalists are: Rome, Madrid, Tokyo, Istanbul, Doha (in Qatar), and Baku (in Azerbaijan).

All finalist cities are repeat applicants, but only Rome and Tokyo have previously hosted the games.  

According to reports, British oddsmakers put Tokyo down as the 2-1 favorite. But we prefer to make our own odds around here.

  • Rome: 5-1. 2020 seems a good target for Italy to have finally washed off the dirt and grime left behind by the cast of the “Jersey Shore.
  • Madrid: 7-1. If Penelope Cruz refuses to be Olympic mascot, Madrid’s chances take a big hit.
  • Doha: 25-1. Average July temperature in Doha is 106. AVERAGE. (Which somehow didn’t stop Qatar from landing the 2022 World Cup, but still.)
  • Baku: 50-1. Most members of the IOC do not know Azerbaijan is a real country; instead, they just think people keep sneezing funny. 
  • Tokyo: 1000-1. It’s a fine city, but we don’t like those hoity-toity British oddsmakers telling us what to do.
  • Istanbul: 3-1.  Athletes will delight in two weeks of singing that “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” song.

Posted by:janderson