The Windy City Candidate

As of April 23, 2009, at 11:22 p.m. “the windy city” has 1,113,258 “friends supporting the bid” according to Chicago’s 2016 candidate city Web site.

The following is a statement also on Chicago’s 2016 candidate city Web site:
“On April 14, 2007, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Chicago as the U.S. Bid City for the 2016 Games. Chicago will now compete with other international cities for the honor of being the official 2016 Host City. The final decision on which international city will host the 2016 Games will be made in October 2009.”

Chicago is one of four remaining cities in the race to host the 2016 Olympics. The other three are Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. Many are excited about the posibility of the Olympics being held in Chicago; however, some remain skeptical.

According to an article in The Firm Voice titled An Olympic Opportunity: How to Leverage an Olympic Sponsorship to Communicate Your Brand, communication specialists said the Beijing Olympics raised the bar for future Olympic sites. The panelists went on to say that with this great challenge PR professionals had unlimited opportunities, especially in the areas of digital platforms when working with clients at the Olympics.

Some think Chicago may not be able to handle the scope of the Olympics. There are many considerations to think about when hosting such a wide-scale international event. Some of these include accomodations, environment, security, venues, medical services and technology. Some of the responses to these arguments can be found in Chicago’s bid book.

Efforts to bring Chicago in good light also include a new Web site called ESPN Chicago specifically devoted to Chicago’s “sports teams, scores, stats, news, standings and rumors.” Chicago is also getting exposure since it is President Obama’s hometown. President Obama sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee President Rogge endorcing Chicago’s candidacy for the 2016 Olympis. Having Obama behind this candidacy is a great way to gain exposure on this location as well as relying on his global popularity.

Although some are still skeptical of Chicago’s ability to host the 2016 Olympics, the city is showing initial effort in preparing for the possibility. The 2016 games will not be held for another seven years so there is still time to prepare for the event, nomatter where the location will be.

-Amy Hannah Burkhalter

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