Chicago 2016 Bid Leaves “Strong Impression” – IOC

Nawal El Moutawakel, chairwoman of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) evaluation commission, said at a news conference Tuesday following the IOC’s inspection of Chicago’s bid that the commission leaves with “a very strong impression that the bid is a strong bid. But in the end, there is only one winner”.

In her opening statement CBS 2 reports El Moutawakel said, “we have very carefully studied the bid document and have visited the venues. We have been most impressed to find what Chicago could offer to the Olympic Games and to the Olympic movement. We would also like to acknowledge the commitment of the city under the strong leadership of Mayor Dailey”.

According to the Associated Press she called Chicago a vibrant city, but the evaluation commission didn’t say how Chicago ranked among the four bid cities, including Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid, because the evaluation process is just beginning.

When asked what stands out as a highlight of Chicago’s bid, CBS 2 reports El Moutawakel said, “we felt, honestly, that the concept and vision and the love of the sports were there… We felt that the whole community was behind the bid, backing the bid”.

The Chicago Tribune reports that IOC official Gilbert Felli said all of the bid cities are facing economic difficulties in the current recession. He said, “we all are facing the same issues in the world. We all know we live in a world of risk”.

Both Moutawakel and Felli said they were impressed by the support of “business heavyweights” from Chicago’s corporate community with whom the commission met Monday.

Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan said the bid team has always felt the natural setting of the city gave Chicago an advantage, adding the team has “no delusions” about the tough competition.

Meanwhile the Associated Press reports Rio de Janeiro’s bid got a boost with the announcement that Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, an owner of mining, energy, steel and oil companies, has donated $4.5 million to Rio’s 2016 bid.