POSTED: Wednesday June 17th 2009


Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Bid Leader Pat Ryan speak at IOC meeting, tell of Chicago’s enthusiasm


Lausanne, Switzerland (June 17, 2009)—Leaders of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games detailed Chicago’s plan today and expressed the city’s excitement to members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


Speakers at the meeting, held at IOC headquarters at the Olympic Museum, included Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago 2016 Chairman and CEO Patrick G. Ryan, President Lori Healey, Director of Sport, Venues and Operations Doug Arnot, United States Olympic Committee First Vice President of International Relations Bob Ctvrtlik, and Olympian and World Sport Chicago President Michael Conley. Anita DeFrantz and Jim Easton, the IOC members in the United States, were also in attendance.


“This was a major milestone in our three-year quest—an opportunity to share our vision for the Games and make personal contact with IOC members who will vote in a few short months to select the 2016 Host City,” said Ryan.  “I think we conveyed Chicago’s passion for the Games and the fact that our plan is responsible and achievable—and one that would deliver a terrific experience for athletes, spectators and visitors.”


The IOC members were told that Chicago is a city whose very layout seems to have been designed for an Olympic Games. Many of the sport venues would be in parklands along the shore of Lake Michigan in the heart of the city, just minutes away from world-class museums, fine restaurants, hotels, shopping and entertainment.


The location of the Olympic Village, just south of downtown along the lakefront, means that 90 percent of athletes would be able to reach their competition venues in 15 minutes or less. Of the 27 individual Games venues, 22 already exist or would be temporary in nature in a plan that minimizes construction costs and environmental impact.


The Chicago metropolitan area has 115,000 hotel rooms, and Chicago 2016 already has secured 78,000 for use during the Games, nearly twice the number required by the IOC. Existing public transit lines would bring spectators to competition venues.


Chicago’s presentation ran for 45 minutes and featured several videos, including one that starred Olympians and Paralympians Bryan Clay, John Register, Shawn Johnson, Linda Mastandrea and David Diaz—who are among the more than 2,500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches who have endorsed Chicago’s bid.


In his remarks, Mayor Daley noted “the power of sport to change peoples’ lives,” and he outlined Chicago’s growing effort to involve young people in training and competition and to teach them the values that sport can offer—excellence, friendship and respect.


World Sport Chicago, the legacy organization created by Chicago 2016, is already reaching thousands of urban youth through new sport and education programs.


“The Olympic Movement has the power to inspire action on a worldwide scale,” Mayor Daley told the IOC members. “And that’s our goal. In the seven years leading up to the Games, we plan to create a legacy in urban centers around the world.”


Ctvrtlik told the members that “the United States has never offered the Olympic Movement a bid that could match the power and promise of Chicago 2016…a Games in Chicago would be a watershed event for our Movement.”


Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, addressed the members in a video presentation. 


If Chicago is selected as Host City, Jarrett will head a new White House Office for the Olympic Games that will coordinate and oversee the federal activities necessary for the Games.


In her video address, Jarrett stated: “Just yesterday, President Obama created a permanent White House office for Olympic and Paralympic youth sport. Through this office we will enhance awareness of the Olympic movement and develop opportunities for youth in urban areas to participate in sport. By increasing opportunities for young people to participate in sport, we will strengthen communities and leave a lasting legacy from the Games.


“In addition, should Chicago have the honor of being selected as the 2016 Host City, the White House will utilize this new office to ensure the seamless integration of the federal government and its resources to support Chicago’s planning and operations.”


“This is a great development for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement in our country. President Obama has shown that he is an ardent supporter of the Olympic values and the impact that sport can have on young children,” said Ryan. “The establishment of this office will help further promote the development of Olympic and Paralympic sport to the youth of our country.”


After Chicago’s presentation, representatives of Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid, in succession, got the floor.


From the four finalists, the IOC will select the 2016 Host City on October 2 in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Press Conference Recording:


Media can access a recording of Chicago 2016’s press conference starting one hour after the start of the press conference until 12:30 PM CT/18:30 GMT at the following numbers:

  • Europe: +41 (0)91 612 4330
  • UK: +44 (0)207 108 6233
  • USA: +1 (1) 866 4162558
  • Access code for all three: 15620 followed by the # sign


Video Information:


Films that are shown during the press conference can be downloaded by media at Login: Chicago, Password: news


Footage of the press conference will be available later in the day and can be downloaded by media at Login: Communications, Password: download





About Chicago 2016

Chicago 2016 is a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to seek the privilege of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago. The committee’s board consists of business, civic, athletic, cultural and academic leaders representing Chicago and the surrounding Midwest region. Patrick Ryan serves as the organization’s chairman and CEO.



# # #

Keywords · Chicago 2016 · Olympic bid · olympics

Name: Mica Matsoff
Organization: Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid
Phone: 1.312.861.4826

Please refer all questions to the company listed above issuing the press release. SFC will not be able to assist you with any inquiries and disclaims any content in these press releases.