Chicago 2016 Overcomes Hurdle

Chicago 2016 has overcome a hurdle in its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games with the U.S. Senate’s ratification of the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The national governments of Chicago’s three rivals for the 2016 Games, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, have already ratified the convention.

Bob Ctvrtlik, the USOC vice president for international relations said, “this was a significant hurdle that coordinated work by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the government and our partners in Chicago helped overcome”.

Pat Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “we are pleased the U.S. Senate recognizes the importance of UNESCO’s anti-doping treaty and shares in this common goal to support the integrity and spirit of the Olympic Games. As a bid we are committed to clean competition and applaud the efforts of the U.S. Senate, in particular our own Illinois Senator Richard Durbin”.

Meanwhile Chicago’s bid will get another boost. The Chicago Tribune reports that President George Bush is likely to campaign on behalf of Chicago 2016 during next month’s Beijing Olympics, according to sources close to the bid, although a White House spokeswoman said the President’s schedule has not yet been set.

Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee, which is working with the White House on the scheduling, said further information is expected by next week.

The Beijing Olympics is the first major opportunity for the four finalist cities to promote their bids internationally.

Seibel said it’s the first time a sitting president is attending an Olympics on foreign soil, sending a message that the U.S. government is “increasingly supportive” of the Olympic and Paralympic movements, which should be beneficial to Chicago’s bid.