Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"I Will Stand" for Chicago 2016

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Associated Press, NBC 5 in Chicago (great video) and several other outlets, on July 14 Chicagoans turned out and chipped in up to $12 million in support of the city's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games. It was a bit of extended celebration of the city making the latest IOC downsizing of the candidate pool. Man, I wish I had been there! They even debuted a new bid song titled "I Will Stand."

To me, Chicago is a perfect candidate. I've grown to love the city's rich history of commerce, architecture, sports and culture. My count on visits to The Windy City for fun (starting with a quick walk downtown during a Union Station layover heading east to New York on Amtrak, to most recent July 4 Weekend/Taste of Chicago holiday weekend with my girlfriend) is approaching a couple dozen. It would be remarkable for world visitors to experience the Games and all the city has to offer.

The other 2016 bid cities have a lot going for them, too. Madrid has got the goods, but with 2012 in London, the European proximity may sway votes to other candidates based on geography. Tokyo hosted in 1964 and has an amazing list of credentials (I believe it is currently the favorite on GamesBids.com, which tracks the competition). Rio has a potential advantage since the Games have not yet visited South America and this is the city's fourth attempt to win the bid (and the scenery would be an amazing postcard for the Olympics -- the city's heavy crime rate seems to be an Achilles' Heel for this bid, however).

The big vote is not until 2 October 2009, so there's plenty of time to speculate. Curious what other cities folks would like to see as future candidates (this week's announcement that Munich is giving it a shot for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games was very cool).

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