Thursday, April 2, 2009

Olympics' Judgment Time

Could Chicago be host to the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games? That's the news around town as the selection committee lands in the Windy City to evaluate its potential as host to the largest gathering of sports. The IOC doesn't make an official announcement until six months from now on October 2 but they have yet to view the other competitors, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. And Chicago wants to put its best foot forward and leave a lasting first impression to topple the other cities.

We're on our best behavior too, at least according to one news reporter (I wish I remembered what station I was watching when I overheard this). As for what that means I can only surmise that the CTA will be running on time since one of the selling points to holding the Games in Chicago is that spectators can use public transportation to travel between venues, the El trains were fumigated to remove the urine stench one often encounters, Mayor Daley had an excuse to "greenify" more of the city, the massive craters on the pavement were finally taken care of--at least those on the tour route. And after checking out a slideshow at the Chicago Tribune, that's exactly what city officials have been doing to prepare for putting the city centerstage. Buildings have been painted, greenery abounds, city lamps boast signs pronouncing the Games, banners hang at bus terminals and below bridges, decorative lights illuminate the Wrigley Building and the Michigan Avenue Bridge towers, the leaves from Douglas Park (proposed venue for cycling) have been raked up, and other potential Olympic venues are going for gold with an extra-care cleaning.

While the city is spruced up, you can't help but hope for good weather too. Sunny days with warm temperatures also make a good selling point, with runners and cyclists dotting the Lakefront, sailboats on the water and a smile on nearly every Chicagoan's face. That sold me on Windy City living more than eight years ago and it definitely paints a pretty picture for Chicago. Now hopefully the IOC will see something they like and can overlook some of the news that's tainted our city in the past few months like former Governor Rod Blagojevich and the appointment of Ronald Burris. For the next six days, we're all about letting friendship shine, the motto for the Chicago 2016 committee. Photo grabbed from Posted by Kate

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