Chicago 2016 – New Governor Support, Mural Donation, IOC Visit

The Chicago Tribune reports Illinois’ new governor Pat Quinn met with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and following the meeting Quinn said the state would do “whatever is necessary” to help the city win its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

When asked if he would support the $150 million guarantee in state funds pledged by former Governor Rod Blagojevich, Quinn said, “I support whatever is necessary”, although he later added the Illinois General Assembly must still vote on the issue.

He said, “the General Assembly will have to act on that, and it’s an opportunity that I think will happen in the next couple of months”.

Quinn said he thinks the Olympic Games coming to Chicago is important and said he told the Mayor that he would like to see it more environmentally friendly than other Olympics.

“We want to have the greenest Olympics ever”.

Meanwhile Chicago 2016 announced Tuesday that Bank of America has temporarily donated the mural wall on the Kennedy Expressway to the city’s 2016 bid.

Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “this generous donation from Bank of America is an extraordinary example of the outpouring of corporate and resident support our bid has received. The mural not only will be a symbol of pride for the city, but also serve as another bold declaration over the years, including the Bank of America Chicago Marathon”.

Installation of the new mural began last week and will feature the Chicago 2016 emblem and imagery of Olympic and Paralympic athletes engaged in sport. Installation should be completed in late March and remain visible through July.

As the city prepares for a visit from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission in April, the bid committee is calling on individuals and the Chicago business community to support the bid. The IOC visit is scheduled April 2-8. IOC officials will be in town to review all aspects of Chicago’s bid, including the proposed venues.