Chicago 2016 – Sport Development Plan, Support From NGB

Chicago 2016 unveiled Wednesday a comprehensive plan to develop Olympic and Paralympic sport should it host the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Under the plan there will be five concentric circles, five rings that reach “from the heart of the city to the shores of the nation” said a Chicago 2016 press release.

Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said “our plan for 2016 is based on strengthening sport and promoting its values in our city and across the country in the years leading up 2016 and beyond”.

Each ring corresponds to a key part of the plan. Ring 1 engages youth in the heart of the city in Olympic and Paralympic sport through the Urban Youth Sport Initiative. Ring 2 spreads the initiative to cities across the United State through the support of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Ring 3 integrates the resources of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the U.S. National Federations of sport into this developmental program. Ring 4 yields direct benefits to the international Olympic Family by expanding access to the USOC’s training sites and educational seminars, a program Chicago hopes to build upon at area universities; and Ring 5 ensures organizational excellence in the competitions at the Games through a committed seven-year partnership between Chicago 2016 and the International Federations that govern sport around the world.

Ryan said, “if Chicago is chosen as host city in 2016, we intend to develop a seven-year partnership with the International Federations that empowers us to leave a legacy of stronger, healthier and more prominent Olympic and Paralympic sport in the United States. With International Federation guidance, the Five Rings of Sport will help ensure that our plan works from the grassroots to the global level”.

Meanwhile the U.S. National Governing Bodies (NGB) of sport have expressed their unified support for Chicago 2016 and its vision for sport development across the country.

Skip Gilbert, Chair of the U.S. NGB Council said, “as we gather at SportAccord, the U.S. National Federations are fully unified in their support of Chicago 2016 and the bid committee’s vision of building sport in the urban core of Chicago and in cities across the U.S. through the Urban Youth Sport Initiative”.

“We believe Chicago’s bid offers an extraordinary vision for delivering a spectacular experience for the Olympians and Paralympians of 2016 while leaving a significant legacy of healthier and stronger Olympic and Paralympic sports in cities across our nation”.

Steve Penny, President of USA Gymnastics, said, “we’ve been working with Chicago 2016 and World Sport Chicago to build gymnastics participation in the urban centre and we’ve had great success demonstrating how a city, a bid and an NGB can work with local partners, in this case the Chicago Park District, to creative innovative and effective ways of reaching young people through Olympic and Paralympic sport”.