Chicago Man Promotes 2016 in London

By BJ Lutz and Phil Rogers
|  Friday, Sep 4, 2009  |  Updated 5:28 PM CDT
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The Art of the Matter

Ralph Segreti

Chicagoan Ralph Segreti stands with his Chicago 2016 Olympic banner in London's Trafalgar Square on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.

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That's hometown pride!

A Chicago man living in London on Friday used a public art project in one of the city's most popular squares to promote his hometown's Olympic bid.

Ralph Segreti, a Chicago native on business in London, used a Trafalgar Square project called "One and Other" -- in which select number of Londoners are allowed to stand on a raised plinth to raise awareness for a cause -- to promote Olympics 2016.

Decked out in a Chicago 2016 T-shirt and flanked by large banners -- supplied by Chicago's bid committee -- Segreti passed out Olympic-themed bracelets to passers-by.

"It seemed like a natural place to raise awareness about the Chicago bid," said Segreti.

Trafalgar Square was the sight of five days of celebrations in London's  when residents there learned in 2005 that they would host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

"They're really gearing up here for the Olympics. They're building all the stuff, and it's in the paper everyday, so they're always talking that, you know, it's Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo or Rio, and everyone knows that President Obama supports the bid and, you know, Chicago's got a really good chance," Segreti said by phone.

Segreti said he was very well-received, aside from a little flack for wearing a Cubs cap rather than a White Sox one.

"I'm pretty optimistic that Chicago's got the best chance, and I'd like to see it come home."

The International Olympic Committee will announce the host city for the 2016 Games during a ceremony in Copenhagen on Oct. 2.

Full Coverage:  Chicago's 2016 Olympic Bid

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