Chicago 2016 Awaits Shortlist Announcement

Chicago 2016 bid officials, along with officials from the other six bid cities, are awaiting the announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of the shortlist for the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The announcement is being made next week during the SportAccord Conference in Athens.

The six other cities bidding for the 2016 Games are Baku, Doha, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, and Prague.

Bob Ctvrtlik, a vice president with the U.S. Olympic Committee, told a Thursday press conference, “we do feel confident that we will advance. Our goal is to make it to the next round”.

Ctvrtlik said he expected to see Chicago’s bid take knocks because of the more restrictive visa entry and exit guidelines imposed by the U.S. government since September 11. Also, Chicago does not have a 100 per cent financial guarantee from the city council.

Ctvrtlik said scoring high in the technical department does not guarantee being selected, adding, “very rarely does the top technical (winner) win”.

Doug Arnot, vice president of Chicago’s bid, said after the shortlist announcement “we all become much more focused. The analogy we’ve drawn is we’ve been playing in the regular season and now we’re going into the playoffs”.

Arnot said Chicago faces stiff competition. Rio hosted the Pan American Games last year and Madrid has the advantage of building off of its failed bid for the 2012 Summer Games. “It not only gives them a technical head start, but a head start in relations with the IOC”.

Ctvrtlik said, “this city and the concept of having an Olympics in the centre of the city, with access to the cultural institutions and the night life and the wonderful restaurants and the vibrancy of the city, that’s a unique proposition that really hasn’t been seen by the Olympic movement in a long time”, reports the Associated Press.

GamesBids.com shows Chicago in first place on its just-released BidIndex.

Meanwhile, Chicago is moving along with events to promote the city’s bid. June 21-26 the city will host the 2008 Etchells World Championship Regatta, presented by World Sport Chicago (WSC).

According to a media release more than 80 yachts with some of the world’s top sailors will compete for the Etchells world title. Countries represented in the race include Australia, Bermuda, Great Britain, Canada, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States.

WSC Chairman William Sherr said, “World Sport Chicago is excited to bring another high-profile international sporting event to Chicago. Our mission is to share the excitement and passion of Olympic sport with the Chicago community, and this regatta gives the city’s youth the opportunity to learn directly for world-class athletes”.