Chicago Sun-Times
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Call it dicey scheduling. But the Executives' Club of Chicago apparently believes it will have something to celebrate on Oct. 6, because it has invited Pat Ryan, chairman and CEO of the Chicago 2016 Olympic organizing committee, to be guest speaker at a Joint Committee breakfast on that day.

Ryan's topic, per the invitation, will be "Chicago's Bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games." Ryan's speech at the Sheraton Chicago will come just four days after the International Olympic Committee selects the 2016 Summer Olympics host city in Copenhagen on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Depending on how that vote goes, of course, Ryan could be talking to the Executives' Club about what went wrong. Or he could be discussing a successful bid strategy. Either way, it should prove an interesting breakfast presentation.

PX00049_7.JPGWe could almost hear the collective sigh of relief and renewed hope coming from inside the Chicago 2016 offices when Barack Obama was elected the nation's 44th President last November. Almost immediately, the powers-that-be within the local Olympic bid organization trying to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago seemed to fixate ever more intently on Obama as the man who could get sports' biggest event to the Windy City.

And from what we've heard about the goings-on inside Chicago 2016 since Obama's election and subsequent inauguration, the President continues to be viewed as the most potent weapon in the city's Olympic bid arsenal. That was underscored in an e-mail we received this week from the Chicago 2016 press office that was comprised of Chicago 2016 Chairman and CEO Pat Ryan's rather fawning "reflections" on Obama and his inauguration, which Ryan and his family traveled to Washington, D.C. to witness. Among the things noted in Ryan's remarks was the generous face time he and his family got with Obama while in Washington. "You could see his (Obama's) ability to directly communicate one-on-one," said Ryan, adding "I got a strong sense that he is going to continue to relate really well to the American people as President."

On the matter of what the Obama presidency means to Chicago 2016, Ryan said Obama "sees himself as a unifier, and in that sense, the President's agenda and Chicago 2016's message are completely aligned." Ryan went on to note that Obama is "an athlete, so for him sport is personal, as it is for all of us at the bid."



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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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