Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chicago Is U.S. 2016 Olympic Bid Candidate -

My sweet home town has always shown a "can-do" attitude and it's what I love and take from it, and is still within me. I'm so proud of Chicago. It will win the World Bid, and show the World what Chicago's really all about! Wooo!

Chicago Is U.S. 2016 Olympic Bid Candidate By Close Vote
Posted 9:04 pm ET (

It was not necessarily a landslide, it was a “very, very close vote”, said U.S. Olympic Committee officials following the announcement that Chicago would be the U.S. candidate in its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Patrick Ryan, Chicago’s bid committee chairman said, “it’s just beginning. It’s a long road”.

USOC chief executive officer Jim Scherr said, “this contest ultimately is not about the economics, it’s not about the surplus, it’s about the magic that can be created through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and how that by itself can transform a city, can transform a nation, can transform the world. And so we look forward to trying to earn that prize”.

Before opening a sealed envelope that revealed the winning city USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth said it was a very tough decision. He said, “if I had all the power – and sometimes people accuse me of that – I would take the map and merge the two cities because I’ll tell you what: If you could take the mayors of these two communities and have them run our country, we would all be better off”.

Chicago’s plans call for a $1.1 billion lakefront village that would be built near the convention centre just south of downtown. The lakefront plan was repeatedly mentioned as a key factor, reports the Associated Press.

USOC international vice president Bob Ctvrtlik said, “for the Olympic Games to be a success we have to recreate a certain magic, a certain celebration centre, and the waterfront location, right on the lake, we felt could do that”.

He added, “the legacy projects, coupled with the guarantees they have offered, I believe gave our board a level of assurance that might have been the differentiation between the cities”.

At a press conference following the announcement Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said it was an honour to be chosen to partner with the USOC to bring back the Olympics to the United States. He called L.A. a great city - “they put us through our paces. We will support each other”, adding “2016 here we come”.

Daley admitted he was “very, very nervous” until he heard the name Chicago.

Ctvrtlik said the USOC will work very closely with the city. “It will be a full time partnership this time. It wasn’t so in 2012” (when New York was the U.S. candidate).

When asked how they would do it differently from New York he said, “this is a new day, this is about partnership. We’re a different USOC”.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called Los Angeles’ bid an effort “that we’ve very, very proud of” and a “fair process”. He said he wouldn’t change anything about L.A.’s bid if he had it to do over.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement thanking the Los Angeles team for its efforts saying he would like to congratulate the city of Chicago “which I am confident will do an outstanding job representing the U.S. and ultimately prevail in this competition”.