POSTED: April 6th 2009

Chicago keeps 2016 show rolling

Chicago: the Olympic dream / Image: Chicago 2016
Chicago: the Olympic dream / Image: Chicago 2016

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

CHICAGO: Chicago's bid leaders, pursuing the 2016 Olympic Games, say they have been enjoying the opportunity to show the IOC evaluation commission the strengths of their case.

The commission, which must report back on all four candidate cities ahead of the decision in October in Copenhagen by the International Olympic Committee, will continue its round-the-world activities in Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.

The members were accompanied on their tour of the proposed Olympic and Paralympic venue sites by officials of Chicago 2016 as well as subject matter and city experts. Youth and Olympic and Paralympic athletes were involved in sports demonstrations in parks along the route.

Patrick G Ryan, chairman and ceo of Chicago 2016, said: "This is our opportunity to take the IOC into our parklands and neighborhoods and show them how integrated our Games plan truly is into the heart of the city. We are enjoying this opportunity to demonstrate our plan to put the athlete and sport at the center of the Games—surrounded by the diverse city and steps from Chicago’s hospitality and cultural centers.”

At Washington Park, the site of the proposed Olympic Stadium, a procession of supporters—carrying flags of their home nations—marched to form the outer perimeter of the proposed stadium. The King College Prep drill team performed in front of the DuSable Museum of African American History and, as commission members made their way to Soldier Field, athletes from the Chicago Area Runners Association jogged along the lakefront.

On arriving at McCormick Place, a projected venue for 11 Olympic and eight Paralympic sports, the delegation was led by a traditional Asian lion and drum processional and was greeted by Native American elders representing Chicagoland tribes.

The evening was taken up with a set piece dinner at which welcoming guests included a mixture of former Olympic medallists, politicians and community leaders.

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

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