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Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro Friday were slated to make presentations regarding their bids to host the 2016 Games to the general assembly of the European Olympic Committees, "which represents 50 countries and holds the balance of power in the Olympic world," according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. The cities are "out to impress the delegates with slick video presentations and promises that they offer financially secure bids that can weather the current global financial crisis." A video message from U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is "expected to be included in Chicago's 20-minute delivery." Since Obama's election on November 4, Chicago's rivals are "adjusting to the Obama factor." Rio de Janeiro is using Obama's "'Yes, we can' and time-for-change slogan as an example of why the Olympics should go to Brazil and South America for the first time." Madrid has portrayed itself as the "'safest choice for 2016' in light of the economic downturn." Madrid bid officials indicated that 77% of the venues are ready, the group is 90% "toward its funding goal, the project is entirely underwritten by the government, and city streets are 'safe ... day and night.'" In addition, Tokyo said that the Japanese government's $100B loan to the Int'l Monetary Fund "showed how the games would be financially secure" (AP, 11/20).
Obama Taped Video Message
For Chicago 2016 Presentation
MEDICAL SUPPORT: Chicago Alderman Toni Preckwinkle Thursday said that Chicago 2016 Chair Pat Ryan is "closing in on an agreement" with Medline Industries to move the planned $1.1B Olympic Village to the campus of Michael Reese Hospital. Preckwinkle said that an $85M "borrowing to finance the acquisition could be approved by the City Council next month" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/21).