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Sweet blog extra: Chicago wins host city 2016 Olympics bid!!!!!!! Chicago to compete to land 2016 games.

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WASHINGTON--Chicago won approval over Los Angeles Saturday from the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors to be the U.S. entry to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games. Now Chicago must fashion its own foreign policy to woo the international Olympic community to actually land the events a test of diplomacy and precinct-style politics.

Mayor Daley jumped up from his seat when Chicago was named the winner over Los Angeles in a process that started one year ago with five cities. In a sportsman-like move, Daley reached across the aisle to shake the hands of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when Chicago's name was called..

The actual announcement was done with a flourish worth of the Academy Awards. None of the members of he United States Olympics Committee board knew the winner when the news conference started. The winner was known only to the accounting firm countng the ballots, Grant Thornton. LLD. It seemed eight minutes of torture between the time the news conference started and the envelope with a white piece of paper with the name of the winner was torn open by United States Olympic Committee board chairman Peter Ueberroth.

"I was very, very nervous," Daley said.

Villaraigosa lavished praise on Daley. “I said to everyone from the very beginning, Never, ever count Richie Daley out. This is a man who has no peer in American cities. He is without question a great mayor. And we are very fortunate to have us leading the American bid.’’

Ueberroth said it was a "very tough decision" and if he had the power he would "merge the cities."

Chicago was chosen in a "close vote," Ueberroth said. "Midwestern culture" helped, said Ueberroth, who was born in Evanston on Sept. 2, 1937. He also lived for periods in Wilmette and briefing attended New Trier High School. Ueberroth would not disclose the vote--it was not a "landslide," he said and bolstering Chicago's bid was its inclusion of the Paralympic games as an equal partner--not giving the paralympics "second place" status.

"This is an opportunity to really educate all of America and all of the world" of the importance of the Olympic movement, Daley said at the news conference.

Chicago must win at least 60 votes in October, 2009 from the 118-member International Olympic Committee to be award the games. Ueberroth urged that Americans, to be more competitive, "brush up on foreign languages." He said later the IOC is "Euro-centric," with some European nations such as Switzerland holding five votes. By the time 2009 balloting comes, the U.S. will have only two votes.

"It's just beginning. It's a long road," said Patrick Ryan. "...2016 here we come."

"And I want to thank the Chicago press...we have many new best friends in the press," Ryan said.

24 Comments

I am so happy for Chicago that I could just burst. We can compete with the best and push the envelope for everyone. God bless Chicago in our bid to host the World in 2016.

I'm comming home. I don't live in Chicago but had already planned to return (after 11 years away). I am so happy for the city, for the mayor, for the people. Way to go CHICAGO!!!!!!!!!!

I think this is b.s. and it shows whatever Daley wants he gets. It is too bad that now it is going nation wide. Daley should worry in his home front and make Chicago truly a world city by cleaning up the mess he made throughout the years-HDO. To get the Olympic bid it makes it a temporary cover and will not benefit Chicago at all. Am I going to get any of the profits? Am I going to get any of the benfits that will come from this. No!!! What I will get is higher property taxes and more headaches from this. End of story!!!!!!

I've been waiting for the news the entire day, yet to hear we were selected as the city to represent America, it's still like a dream. I don't care what anyone says... none of this would have happened without Daley. Daley, Ryan, and the Chicago Committee did such a great job representing our city in front of the USOC. Thank you for putting the spotlight on our city and making us feel so proud. I always tell people in other countries about how much I love Chicago and that it's the best city in the world. With Daley as our mayor, we may actually have a shot at getting the Olympic bid. I'm a believer!! Go Chicago!!

YAY! Way to go! We will be able to show people is truly an international city, and not just looking for what's in it for me

If we can parlay the bid process into a way to get the CTA and the rest of our transportation infrastructure fixed, then it's a good thing. If it becomes a way to deflect attention from those problems, then it's a bad thing.

This is awesome news. I've been to a few Olympics before and they really do the city great. Barcelona is still using the transportation infrastructure built for the games; Atlanta and LA still use their stadiums; Beijing and Athens definitely got upgrades for their ancient cities; and Salt Lake City is now always mentioned as a great ski destination.

Our public transportation has needed an upgrade for so long. The Olympics will be a great spark to upgrading our trains - with federal funding too! All this for just 2 weeks in 9 years. Inconveniences would have to occur if we want to upgrade our trains anyways.

BTW, Rio is not ready for an Olympics - crime, (even more) corruption, and basic infrastructure.

What do you think the over/under on Olympic related indictments will be if Chicago actually gets the bid? I see the number has to be put at no less than 8.

Mixed Emotions...

Like we don't already have enough traffic issues...

But it will be nice to see our city showcased.

Well, lets suck it up and do it right!!!

Great news, but let's hope that patronage is not the name of the game. Chicago is too diverse and dynamic a city for only a few well-connected people to benefit. Daley needs to step up to the plate and be leader, and let everyone get a piece of the pie...

The only reason the Mayor wants the Olympics is so he can start hiring trucks again. Since this isn't a government endeavour, he's free of the Shakman decree on this whole thing. Mark my words and watch, he'll give a few token contracts to minority firms, but 99% of it will benefit his friends in Bridgeport. (The ones that morphed from being white Irishmen to black women in days gone by when it came time to pass out no bid contracts.)

Our friend Pamela seems to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. And this type of "what will this do for me?" thinking it what threatens to derail the bid entirely because of the complaints of West Side aldermen who are demanding venues be built in their wards. There will be events at the United Center and UIC. That should suffice. Newsflash, folks: no one wants to visit the West Side.

You all think the Daley's and Stroger's are corrupt now. Look out should we win the Olympics. And no 'little guys' will gain in the profitting, either. You think the over-cost of Soldier Field was ridiculous, its nothing compared to the Olympics. You didn't like for the White Sox Park about 15 years ago. Thats pennies compared what your going to be paying now. I intend to be living far far away from Cook County when the building starts. Most average citizens are NOT going to be able to handle these coming property taxes come Olympics time. So be careful what you wish for.

Way to go Mayor Daley, now lets see how much money comes out of our communities, parks libarys and schools. When the projects go over budget where do you think the money is going to come from.

I am excited for this city to make its international bid. We so desperately need something to unify us -- something to get behind as a community and work on together. I believe that we can muster the same wow power that we gave the world back in 1893 with the Columbian Exposition. The residents who say they won't benefit from this are being myopic; it will bring upgrades to our infrastructure, new businesses, and excellent PR. All of that means continued development for the city!!

I'm so excited for the city. Chicago is a jewel on Lake Michigan and an ideal place for the Olynpics. I live in the South Loop, so definitely be affected by the traffic and crowds, but it would be wonderful to witness. I'll be 74 when 2016 rolls around, so I just want to be here, and healthy, to enjoy it!!

I'm a Chicago transplant who lives near LA. I'm happy my favorite city won the bid for 2016 Olympics. I live now about 45 minutes from LA & never liked LA anyhow. I call LA America's arm pit. Great for Chicago! At my age I just hope I'll still be around to witness it!


I think the celebrating is a little premature. It's almost two years until the IOC decides on a venue, and America has hosted the Olympics several times in the past few decades.

Also, O'Hare needs to get cleaned up. Not only is the facility an aging mess, the attitudes of the security and service personel there needs a dramatic overhaul. The security guards at O'Hare are ignorant and stupid and a poor representation of the city.

What I don't get is all these people that try to figure out how to not do things, rather than come up with viable solutions.Downtown Olympic traffic nightmares could be avoided by expanding the pedway and including moving sidewalks.
Far flung venues should be near public transportation.If that's not possible, then we can bring transportation to them with what I call the porta-el.Think of scaffolding on steroids supporting a temporary el line.It could run above existing streets.It could be put up,reconfigured or taken down quickly.It can be used elsewhere later on.Since any system designed to support the weight of trains could easily handle cars and trucks,highway funds could be used to develop and manufacture the porta-el [it would allow highway reconstruction without reduced capacity].Since it would allow easy repairs or alternates to the infrastructure[invaluable during a natural disaster or terrorist attack], homeland security money could also be used to develop and manufacture the porta-el.If the porta el currently existed, it could have been used to bypass [and provide temporary stations] the brown line reconstruction.

A very proud moment for America's most exciting city. However, once the euphoria has passed,the Mayor needs to consider the 800 pound canary in the room: the USA isn't exactly loved by the international community. I suspect the other deal-breaker will be the disposable Olympics Stadium buried in the South Side.

What a discrace! The corrupt Daley regime and "Crook" County team with their filthy hands on all that money? This will be the biggest scandal in history. It's very sad.

I think it's embarassing and a travesty for some of us Chicagoans to really "stink up the joint" with all of this rhetoric about how the city doesn't deserve this and how much of a disgrace this will be for the city. I lived in Atlanta in 1996; rented out my condo that was nearby the stadium. I made a nice piece of change from it and definitely didn't regret it. Also, my aunt who owns 3 floral shops (2 in Atlanta and one in Decatur) used the 1996 Olympics as a springboard to grow her business (at the time she had 1 shop). It was a true joy then, and it will be a greater joy when hopefully it comes to my hometown Chicago. GREAT NEWS FOR CHICAGO!! Hope we can land it for 2016.

When the project goes over budget and all of Daley friends get fatter, maybe Daley can add some of his own money to the fund from all of his past elections or is he saving that for retirement? WAKE_UP chicago, somebody needs to stop King Richard before he bleeds us dry.

Well since I don't live in Cook county this could be nice unless Daley finds a way to give it to the suburbs like he has done with O'hare expansion.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 14, 2007 2:15 PM.

Sweet blog Olympic extra: Chicago, Los Angeles waits for decision on Olympic bid. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Obama touts small donor network but also relies on high end "bundlers" for millions. is the next entry in this blog.

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