POSTED: April 2nd 2009

IOC checks out Chicago 2016

Michael Jordan: champion support / lake images
Michael Jordan: champion support / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

CHICAGO: The race to host the 2016 Games has gathered pace with sudden urgency as the evaluation commission from the International Olympic Committee flew in to Chicago.

The commission is in Chicago until early next week and Mayor Richard Daley has urged citizens to demonstrate their support by making posters and registering their support online.

One contentious poll claimed local support for the hosting bid running at 78 per cent though that was challenged by media and community groups.

Bid president Patrick Ryan said: “From the start, the citizens and the city’s business, civic and philanthropic communities have been behind us. They understand the honor and excitement that comes with hosting the Games and the economic and social benefits and lasting legacies.”

Olympic and Paralympic athletes are taking part in the presentation to the commission and the venue tour. Among superstar supporters is the Olympian and former Chicago Bulls champion Michael Jordan.

In a new film, entitled Moments and featuring Olympians and Paralympics with Chicago ties, he says: “The Olympic spirit — it’s alive in Chicago.”

'Dream Team' hero

Jordan competed in the 1984 Games as a young athlete out of the University of North Carolina and, after joining the Bulls, as a member of the 'Dream Team' who won gold in 1992 in Barcelona.

He adds: “I’ve had some tremendous memories in my professional basketball career but the memory of standing as a representative at the Olympics representing the United States is one of the proudest moments of my life. To step up on that podium representing your country — there’s no greater honor than that.”

Jordan describes the thrill of turning from opponent to team-mate with basketball greats such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and Clyde Drexler.

Other Olympians and Paralympians who appear in the film include Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Bart Conner, Adolph Kiefer, April Holmes, Paul Moran, David Diaz, Olympian and Greg Louganis.

Ryan said: “Michael’s endorsement of our bid is something that we prize. We thank him and all the other great athletes — including those who appeared with him in the new film — who have stepped forward to support Chicago.”

The film was directed by Malik Sayeed, an accomplished African-American industry professional with RSA Films.

Chicago is competing against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. The IOC makes up its mind in Copenhagen in October.

Keywords · IOC · Olympic Games · 2016 · Chicago · Ryan · Jordan

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