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U.S. 2016 Candidate – Chicago Or Los Angeles?

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By the end of the day on Saturday one of two cities will be the United States candidate for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Will it be Chicago or Los Angeles?

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is meeting at the Washington Embassy Row Hotel in Washington D.C. with delegations from both cities and will hear from the Chicago 2016 delegation first. There will be a 40-minute presentation from each city and 20 minutes of questioning from the USOC.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the city’s Olympic bid committee will be in Washington for the presentations and ABC reports the Mayor wants the Olympic Committee to know that if the Games are held in Chicago they will be safe and secure.

He said, “safety is always very important for anyone visiting, especially during the Olympics”. On Thursday Mayor Daley unveiled a new state-of-the-art security command centre at McCormick Place, which would be part of a larger security operation that would protect the city’s Olympic sites in 2016. The centre is designed to ensure security and protection for the “mammoth” McCormick Place convention centre. The command centre is hooked up to 450 surveillance cameras and the city’s 911 centre.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he will support legislation to put up the money as a “safety-net” in case Chicago is awarded the Games and has a deficit.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has already signed legislation authorizing $250 million in state money for the Games if Los Angeles is selected.

Meanwhile Los Angeles 2014 is keeping a tight lid on details of its final presentation to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), reports the L.A. Daily News.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is leading a 12-member delegation to Washington. According to the newspaper Barry Sanders, head of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, sidestepped questions about whether the group will offer any last minute surprises in their presentation. He said, “we’ve been telling our story to (the USOC) for many months, and it hasn’t changed”.

Rob Livingstone, producer of GamesBids.com, told the L.A. Daily News the 11-member committee might still have an open mind by the time the cities make their final presentations. He said, “final presentations in the past have won and lost bids”.

Livingstone said that Paris was favoured over London for the 2012 Games, but London’s “stellar” final presentation may have been a factor in its selection.

But according to USOC chief executive officer Jim Scherr, “the winner will be the city our board will believe has the competence to sell 60 international voters”.

The Chicago News Tribune reports that neither Scherr, nor Bob Ctvrtlik, who led the USOC effort to refocus its selection process, would handicap Saturday’s vote. Write or read comments about this article

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