Will Olympic Scout Team Give Chicago 2016 An Edge?


Early next year, a scout team led by Nawal El Moutawakel, a Moroccan gold medalist, will visit Chicago (as well as the other cities competing for the 2016 Olympics) to look at the pros and cons of each city hosting the games. The group will then present a report to the IOC presenting its assessment of each city but will not make an official recommendation to the IOC. Another member of the team, Taiwan's C.K. Wu, could give Chicago an edge. Wu happens to also be president of the International Amateur Boxing Association; the AIBA held their world championships here last year, an event Wu called "the best ever" and saw 500 boxers from 100 countries compete in front of over 40,000 total fans. We're not sure if that number counts defections or not.

Of the scout team's task, El Moutawakel said, "Our role will be to assess their technical capabilities in a transparent and neutral way." After the scout team presents its assessment to the IOC, each candidate city will present itself to the IOC in June 2009, which will take place in Switzerland. The IOC will vote on the host city in Copenhagen in October 2009.

Besides El Moutawakel and Wu, other members of the scout team include:

  • Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli
  • Craig Reedie of Britain (IOC)
  • Guy Drut of France (IOC)
  • Mounir Sabet of Egypt (IOC)
  • Athlete representative Alexander Popov of Russia
  • International sports federations representative Els van Breda Vriesman of the Netherlands
  • Gregory Hartung of Australia (International Paralympic Committee)
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