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dutch support the olympics

Tuesday 20 January, 2009

The Dutch-Chicago Business Exchange & Netherlands America Foundation hosted an event featuring Michael Murnane of Chicago 2016.  If you’ve seen many of these presentations to drum up local support for the movement, (which is an important variable in the International Olympic Committee(IOC)’s evaluation of all the competitive bids), there wasn’t much that was new.  but a few new nuggets.  The Chicago 2016 bid’s biggest obstacle is that Chicago is not well known to the IOC.  Many foreigners still think of Chicago as a flyover zone between the coasts, the city of Al Capone, or just a conglomeration of industrial smokestacks.  Chicago 2016 has grown to have 50 full-time staff in addition to 40-50 contributing on a pro bono basis.  They already count 10,000 volunteers, & if Chicago wins, we’ll need 4 times that.  The composition of the number of IOC voting members breaks down like so:
North America-(US & Canada)-4
Latin America-14
Asia Pacific-19
Western Europe-37
Eastern Europe-10
Africa-17
Middle East-8

Strengths of the bid are that Chicago represents 188 of 205 ancestries, 20 of which have 25,000+ residents represented by 10,000 ethnic organizations.  The bid book is due 12 Feb. & 4 IOC committee members led by a Moroccan woman will be in Chicago 2-8 April as the 1st stop on their tour of the candidate cities.  Register here can support the bid.

Q&A-Chicago 2016 does not have a ministry of sport like the administrations of other bidders, so it is 100% self-financed by donations.  The only expense to be incurred by the city will be for security, etc.  Their thinking is what’s implemented for 2016 has to make sense in 2017 as well.  Since their goals are:  1. win the bid  2. contribute to the Olympic movement 3. contribute to Chicago, that approach makes sense.  The Olympics cannot rehabilitate the CTA-there will be an overlay to the CTA during the games, but otherwise there is little Chicago 2016 can do to help.  Cricket, baseball, & softball may be demonstration sports for the 2016 Olympics, but those decisions won’t be made until the host city is chosen.  Building relationships with IOC members & the election & support of Barack Obama will help win votes.

I’ve already commented on what I think of Chicago’s bid a number of times.  Just search on this blog for those comments.

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