As IOC Vote Nears, Celebrity Is the Name of the Games
By Amy Shipley
The talk surrounding Chicago's campaign for the 2016 Summer Games in recent weeks has been over whether President Obama would lobby personally for the bid, not the specifics of the city's compact, lakefront venue plan.
As the International Olympic Committee's vote Friday in Copenhagen approaches, the technical strengths and weaknesses of the competing cities -- Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo -- have been all but lost in a sea of whiz-bang announcements, seemingly capped by the news Monday that Obama would, indeed, join Chicago's star-studded delegation.
The contending cities seem to sense Friday's secret ballot of the IOC's 106 members, who include five princes, two princesses, a count, grand duke and a mix of other high-profile figures and athletes, will hinge more on intangible elements than on which city has the best transportation plan or most efficiently designed Olympic stadium.
"We think our bid has been well-received by the IOC and IOC members," Chicago's bid president Patrick G. Ryan said during a recent telephone interview. "That doesn't mean we'll get the majority of votes. I do think they realize Chicago is a great city with a great bid; whether they vote for us is something else."
Posted at 3:23 PM ET on Sep 30, 2009
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