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SBD/Issue 132/OlympicsPrint All
Rogge Reportedly Will Deliver
News Of Deal Friday
PRESIDENTIAL INSPIRATION: In Chicago, Kathy Bergen reports Chicago's competitors for the '16 Games "distinguished themselves from the Windy City during sales pitches Thursday by trumpeting the full government guarantees behind their bids, something Chicago is not able to bring to the table." Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro also "borrowed inspiration from Chicago's highest-profile success story, President Barack Obama," as Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral said of his state capital's bid, "Yes, we can." But the Chicago 2016 bid team, led by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago 2016 Chair Patrick Ryan, "appeared to take its rivals' moves in stride at a press conference." Bergen notes "given the worldwide economic crisis," the IOC Evaluation Commission will be "keenly focused on financial issues when it visits Chicago next week" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/27). UNIVERSAL SPORTS' Abrahamson noted "everyone has recognized since November, and Obama's election, that the new president ... could well be the game-changer" in the '16 bid race. But the reference to Obama by the Tokyo and Rio bid teams "signaled without equivocation Thursday that the Obama mantra ought not to be seen as singularly American." Daley, when asked about the references, said, "I think it's a great compliment of the leadership that Obama not only has in the United States but throughout the world." Abrahamson noted the Chicago bid team "made but two references to the president" Thursday. Meanwhile, one of the "key question marks in the 2016 campaign is whether President Obama will attend that IOC vote, in Copenhagen." No American president has "attended such a vote" (UNIVERSALSPORTS.com, 3/26). Ryan said, "I hope it's clear that Chicago 2016 enjoys a remarkable level of support from our government, from city hall to the White House" (USA TODAY, 3/27).
SELLING THEMSELVES: In Denver, Anthony Cotton notes though money has "manifested itself in cost overruns for facilities ... as it pertains to the Olympics," most of the groups Thursday "pledged that wouldn't be the case with their cities." The IOC Exec Committee "over the subsequent six weeks" will make "stops in each of the four venues" competing for the '16 Games (DENVER POST, 3/27). UNIVERSAL SPORTS' Abrahamson wrote under the header, “Rio Carries The Day.” Rio’s bid team “had a good outing Thursday. Better than the other three bids.” The Rio team “emphasized, time and again, support from all three levels of government.” Meanwhile, Chicago’s "level, straightforward approach can strike some as simply midwestern, others -- particularly in comparison with Rio -- as dispassionate" (UNIVERSALSPORTS.com, 3/26).
Writer Says Chicagoans Feel Torn, Ambivalent
About Hosting 2016 Games
CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY: In Chicago, Rick Telander wrote his "sense of Chicagoans' feelings about the Olympics is that they're torn and ambivalent -- eager to show off our city and its beauties and to host a global event of extreme importance but wary and worried that the city of scams and corruption as backbone DNA will defraud us somehow." Chicago "needs more assurances from its leaders that they will do this one right, if it falls into our laps." Obama, the "ultimate Chicago canon, will be rolled out" to help Chicago land the games, but "even a president can be wrong, or blinded by ambition." Telander: "We know the 2016 Olympics could be an amazing thing. But not without transparency and ironclad guarantees" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/25).
DIMINISHED FLAME: The AP's Eddie Pells reported Olympic leaders Thursday called for an "end to international torch relays starting next year in Vancouver." The IOC said that such a change "doesn't require an adjustment of the contracts for host cities," as there was "no requirement for cities to take the relays internationally, but in recent years, the cities would request such a tour" (AP, 3/26).