POSTED: September 2nd 2009

Ryan takes pride in all possible positives for Chicago 2016

Pat Ryan: vision of an 'Olympic playground' / lake images
Pat Ryan: vision of an 'Olympic playground' / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

CHICAGO: A note of financial concern over Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games featured in the IOC evaluation commission's report assessing proposal from all four candidate cities.

In precisely one month's time, in Copenhagen, the International Olympic Committee decides between the rival claims of Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Chicago's rivals have all been intrigued privately about how chairman and ceo Patrick Ryan and his team would deal with the issue of financial guarantees. The complication for Chicago is the strict difference between the United States and most other countries in terms of guarantees from federal government. In the US, state input is limited largely to overall national issues such as security.

However, in his reaction to the report Ryan left that issue to one side and took away all the positives possible.

He said: "We are particularly gratified to see that the evaluation commission recognizes our vision and overall concept for hosting the Games and that we will deliver a spectacular sport experience for the athletes of the world, ‘turning the centre of the city into an Olympic playground.’ 

Legacy issue

"The report also reaffirms that our Games venue plan aligns with recommendations made by the IOC Games study commission and will leave a ‘sustainable urban, sport, social and environmental legacy for the community.’"

He welcomed the acknowledgement of bid strengths such as the Olympic Village, security, accommodations and medical services. Then, referring back to last week's study by the Civic Federation of Chicago, he read the IOC report as approving "the soundness and achievability of our Games budget."

Ryan added: "Every step of the way, the IOC has pushed us to be an even better, stronger bid, and we have continually taken their guidance and made improvements. Points were raised in our April discussions with the Evaluation Commission and we’ve sought to address and resolve their concerns on each issue."

This suggested that Chicago had modified its original project and Ryan acknowledged the fact in conceding that Chicago was "in the final stage of securing the necessary governmental approval to sign the standard host city contract."

The IOC report had noted that Chicago had asked originally for a variation in the terms of the contract and that this request had been turned down.

Keywords · IOC · 2016 Olympic Games · Chicago · Patrick Ryan · evaluation commission

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