IOC Evaluation Committee Continues to Inspect Chicago 2016 – Clinton Promises Federal Support

Day three of the IOC Olympic Evaluation Commission’s Chicago 2016 visit started with a video played to the music of Frank Sinatra’s song about Chicago – “My Kind of Town”. The video presented a mosaic of facts, figures and imagery of the city.

During the morning session the IOC reviewed Chicago’s plans for the Paralympic Games and the environment.

In the afternoon the IOC committee delved into the financial aspects of the bid.

To show federal government support, a video of U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton was presented.

“If Chicago is selected the 2016 Host City, I want to tell you that the United States will welcome the world with open arms”, Clinton said.

Valerie Jarret, Senior Advisor to President Obama spoke to the Committee and solidified the White House’s intentions to provide strong support for the bid. An office will be set up to oversee preparations for the Olympic Games – the first time a U.S. bid has offered such federal support.

Bid President Lori Healey and other bid organizers empasized that Chicago 2016 financial projections are attainable.

“The focus has been on the conserative, responsible and achievable nature” Healey said.

Chicago 2016 General Counsel Jessica Fairchild spoke on the financial guarantees that include Hilary Clinton on video$500 million from the city of Chicago, $250 million from the State of Illinois and access to additional Games cancellation insurance for up to $500 million. The budget allows for a $450 million contingency fund.

Fairchild also explained that the IOC has been provided with an addendum to the host city contract that outlines the available guarantees. The general contract has already been drafted by the IOC ang gets signed by the winning city just moments after he election.

Other messages given to the IOC to show financial viability included:

– the Chicago economy is diverse;
– Chicago is the home to many Fortune 500 companies;
– some major Olympic sponsors are based in Chicago includig McDonalds and United Airlines.

The afternoon concluded with a video about Chicago’s 27 sister cities. Shown were young girls from the various countries greeting their ‘sisters’ in their own language. Chicago-native talk show host provided a voice-over.

The evaluation visit concludes with further meetings and a final news conference Tuesday.

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