Chicago 2016 In Rear-View Mirror

IOC moves on to Tokyo, Rio and Madrid

By Steve Rhodes
|  Tuesday, Jul 21, 2009  |  Updated 3:58 PM CDT
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Goodbye, chilly Chicago. Hello, Tokyo ...

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Chicago 2016 officials have put a brave face on the fact that our city was the first stop on the IOC evaluation committee's tour of finalists, but bid teams in Tokyo, Rio and Madrid have a clear advantage in seeing what they have to do to top Chicago's hospitality. Here's what they're saying in those cities about upcoming IOC visits that will be compared to the IOC's stop here.

TOKYO: "The Tokyo metropolitan government and the invitation committee for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are now in the final stages of preparing for a four-day visit by the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission that kicks off next Thursday," the Daily Yomiuri reports.

"Tension is rising within the metropolitan government and the Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee as the evaluation commission's visit approaches. 'In terms of winning the Olympic bid, we've absolutely no margin for error during the evaluation commission's visit,' a metropolitan government official said."

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara says that his country is the most appropriate to hold the Games because it hasn't been involved in a war since World War II, but also had to reportedly shrug off the threat of a missile from North Korea.

"Tokyo Ready For Inspection," the Straits Times reports, touting the city's "healthy finances" and "good environment."

RIO: Billionaire entrepreneur Eike Batista has stepped to the plate for the Rio 2016 bid with a substantial donation of 10 million reals ($4.5M) to support the campaign for the summer Olympics," Sports Features reports.

"At a ceremony today at Guanabara Palace, the check was officially presented to President of the Brazilian NOC, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, with Sergio Cabral, Rio de Janeiro state governor, Orlando Silva, Sports Minister, and the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes."

Rio will also entice the IOC with images of beach volleyball on the world-famous Copacabana beach, the New York Times reports, as well as the infrastructure improvements that will already be in place from hosting the World Cup in 2014.

The Gulf Times of Qatar reports that "Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva touted his country’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics" while at the G20 meeting in London, site of the 2012 Olympics.

MADRID: "Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced yesterday he will take personal charge of the sports portfolio in a bid to help Madrid's candidature for the 2016 Olympics," the Macau Daily Times reports.

Madrid was a contender for the 2012 Games and has "fine-tuned" that bid in its run for 2016, the New York Times reports.

Spain's King Juan Carlos has declared getting the 2016 Olympics a "national project."

Madrid 2016 officials also claim that their bid "has guaranteed financial and popular backing, that it is realistic and on track, and that it will be the first true Green Games with its commitment to the environment and sustainability."

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