IOC Show and Tell

Evaluators get a look at the city's vision for 2016

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dudley M. Brooks
    See? This here is my kinda town.

     

    Sunday was show-and-tell time in Chicago as local officials did their best to convince visiting members of the International Olympic Committee that the city should serve as host of the 2016 Summer Games.

    IOC Tour

    [CHI] IOC Tour
    The International Olympic Committee toured Chicago venues for 2016 Summer Olympics. (Published Monday, Apr 6, 2009)

    On arguably the most important day of their nearly weeklong visit, which ends Tuesday, IOC officials began a tour early Sunday of spots where venues will be built if Chicago is selected.

    Chicago 2016 organizers used the excursion to drive home a key point of their bid proposal: that Chicago's Olympics would be a compact affair.

    "Today is the day we can really show that," said United States Olympic Committee spokesman Darryl Seibel. "The significance of today is that it's an opportunity not only to present plans, but to show those plans -- bring them to life."

    The IOC team members began their day on the site where the Olympic Village would be built, on the grounds of the mostly shuttered Michael Reese Hospital on city's near South Side. Housing for 16,000 athletes and officials would be built there.

    President Assures IOC That It's Found Perfect Host City

    [CHI] President Assures IOC That It's Found Perfect Host City
    The Chicago Olympic Committee kicked off a presentation to the International Olympic Committee with a video-taped message from President Barack Obama, and, man, does he love Chicago. (Published Tuesday, Jul 28, 2009)

    Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and former Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis met them at that site.

    From there they went to the McCormick Place convention center, which would be the site of 11 Olympic and eight Paralympic events.

    The huge lakefront facility would also be the international broadcast center.

    Chicago 2016 organizers said they wanted to show how close thev enues would be to each other, as well as to Chicago's other cultural attractions. They said 90 percent of the athletes would be able to train and compete within 15 minutes of the Olympic Village.

    Sunday's circuit from Monroe Harbor, where some of the rowing events would take place, past Soldier Field (soccer) and on to McCormick Place was designed to drive home that point.

    Later, as the sun peeked briefly through threatening clouds, the delegation visited Washington Park on the South Side, where the main Olympic Stadium would be built. To show the outline of the proposed stadium, 205 volunteers held up flags for each of the Olympic nations around its perimeter.

    Although demonstrators opposed to the games had threatened to set up a tent city of the homeless in Washington Park to coincide with the visit, no tents were visible from where the IOC members stood.

    By the end of the day, the IOC will have stopped at 12 Olympic sites, including the northernmost venue -- the proposed site of the tennis stadium in Lincoln Park.