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Chicago 2016 Officials Lead IOC On Tour Of Proposed Olympic Sites
Published April 6, 2009
FEW PROTESTERS: In Chicago, Hersh & Heinzmann note "hundreds of volunteers ... and just a handful of protesters weathered long waits to greet the commission's members as they spent nearly eight hours touring planned Olympic sports venues, media center and the Olympic Village site in the city." Chicago Mayor Richard Daley "rode with commission members on their first stop of the tour Sunday and later rejoined them for lunch at the Shedd Aquarium" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/6). USA TODAY's Vicky Michaelis writes Chicago 2016 officials "undoubtedly repeated words, such as 'temporary,' that until recent years were foreign to the Olympic lingo." Chicago 2016 Dir of Venues & Games Operations Doug Arnot: "So much of our plan is really designed for these times." Michaelis notes only 24% of "all planned Olympic construction in Chicago would be permanent" (USA TODAY, 4/6).
Ryan Must Convince IOC Committee To
Choose Chicago Despite Lacking Guarantee
GETTING POLITICAL: The AP's Frederic Frommer reported Chicago 2016 has spent $420,000 on "pressing its case in Washington since the second half" of '07. Dutko Worldwide LLC lobbies on behalf of Chicago 2016 (AP, 4/4). The CHICAGO SUN-TIMES' Donovan noted President Obama in a video shown to the IOC Evaluation Commission Saturday described Chicago as an "international city that he and his wife and children call home." Obama described a city that "grew up under architect Daniel Burnham's refrain 'make no small plans, they have no magic to stir the soul,' and called the city a great American melting pot." Obama: "After your visit, once you discover the Chicago that I know ... I am confident you will discover that you're already in the perfect host city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games." Donovan noted reporters "watched the video in a screening separate from the meeting between Chicago 2016 officials, Mayor Daley and the IOC evaluation team" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/5). Donovan wrote the video from Obama was the "most striking evidence yet that the city's bid team would use its biggest and best ammunition as early as possible during the four-day evaluation" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/5). But Tribune Co. Olympic reporter Philip Hersh noted Obama's address "contained four mentions of 'Stir the Soul,' a phrase that Chicago bid officials said they dropped because it didn't translate well." Chicago 2016 replaced "Stir the Soul" with "Let Friendship Shine," and Hersh noted Obama "didn't use the words 'let' or 'friendship' or 'shine' even once" (LATIMES.com, 4/4). View a transcript of Obama's message (SUNTIMES.com, 4/4).
IS IT WORTH IT? In Chicago, Steve Chapman wrote, "If you like vanity projects, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger or better one than the Olympics -- a two-week extravaganza featuring thousands of athletes and hundreds of thousands of spectators, plus a worldwide TV audience. But what does Chicago really stand to gain from it? ... It's hard to believe all the publicity has a long-term payoff." The Olympics "may prove that a big plan is not the same as a good plan" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/5).