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Chicago Makes Its Bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics

21 July, 2009 10:09  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Chicago 2016 logoSince being chosen as one of the four Candidate Cities for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games (along with Madrid, Spain; Rio De Janiero, Brazil and Tokyo, Japan), Chicago has had a steady stream of events to showcase its advantages – and make  its best appeal for winning the final vote to host the Games, officially known as the XXXI Olympiad.

Chicago won its place as the United States candidate city by beating out four other cities which had hoped to be the American representative for the Games:  Houston, Texas; San Francisco and Los Angeles, both in California; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It then went on to make the cut for the final four Candidate cities – with Doha, Qatar; Baku, Azerbaijan and Prague, Czech Republic being eliminated in an earlier selection process by the International Olympics Committee (IOC).

More than one million people have expressed their support for Chicago’s bid, including celebrities such as Michael Jordan and even President Barack Obama, who lives in Chicago.  Many people who support the Games say that the United States needs the positive impact of the Games to repair its tarnished image with the rest of the world after eight years of the Bush administration.

However, along with all the enthusiasm, there are skeptics.  A group calling itself No Games Chicago has been campaigning actively to keep Chicago from winning the bid.  Many people involved with No Games Chicago say that the city cannot afford the expense of the Games, and that residents of the areas being considered for Olympic venues will be displaced.  Others say that there is too much graft and corruption in Chicago for the Games to be a real success.

Nonetheless, Chicago, with the full backing of Mayor Richard M. Daley, has moved ahead with its bid to win the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralypics.  Since becoming a Candidate City, Chicago has hosted a number of events to showcase its advantages, and attempt to persuade the members of the IOC. 

One of the most important events occurred in April 2009, when Chicago hosted several members of the IOC as they made official visits to each of the Candidate Cities.  The weather in Chicago did not cooperate, with gray, cold and inclement conditions.  However, the spirit of most of the participants in the various events were high – including a venue tour where demonstrations of several sports were staged for the benefit of the IOC observers.

Chicago 2016 - Candidate City: Olympic bidA few weeks later, the weather was much better for Chicago’s celebration of Olympics Day, which took place in cities across the United States on 23 June 2009.  The skies were blue and the air was warm as athletes participated in a range of events to be featured in the Games – a total of 21 sports, including a Fun Run, basketball and boxing. More than 30,000 young people and 1200 adults participated in the Fun Runs, with another 3000 athletes participating in the other sports.

Chicago 2016 - Candidate City: Athlete and ConcertSeveral Olympic and Paralympics athletes made appearances in Chicago during Olympics Day to show their support for Chicago’s bid, including Mike Day, Paul Hamm, April Holmes and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.  The day ended with a concert on the beach, with two local bands:  Elevation, a U2 tribute band complete with a Bono lookalike, and the Freddy Jones Band.  An estimated 20,000 people showed up to watch the various events.

The selection process has reached the home stretch, with less than 100 days remaining before the full IOC meets in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2 October 2009 to announce its decision for the winning city.

Audrey Henderson
Freelance writer based in Chicago

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Very Usefull [Reply]

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  Singapore Sightseeing     15 Aug 2009, 11:29