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USOC Head Says Chicago 2016 Needs To Change Emphasis

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The Chicago Tribune reports that in a meeting with local media Thursday at the Hilton Hotel, Peter Ueberroth, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), said Chicago was in “third or fourth place” in the race for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the Chicago bid committee needs to change its emphasis to improve that position.

Ueberroth said Chicago 2016 needed to concentrate as much on wooing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members than on the logistical and technical plans for the bid. He placed Chicago behind Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo. Ueberroth said, “that’s not a criticism, it’s a reality”.

Ueberroth reportedly said he gave Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley the same message when they met Thursday morning. He said Chicago’s private sector needs to be more involved in the bid, especially in the area of contact with IOC members.

He said, “I expect all the (technical) bids to be terrific. It’s the relationship with members that will make the difference. I am comfortable we can win, but we are not leading this parade at all”.

Ueberroth said Rio has gained an early advantage by having some two dozen IOC members visit during its highly successful Pan American Games and that Madrid has a running start from its strong bid effort in the 2012 race won by London. “Japan has great leadership…the Japanese have put much more assets and effort into their bid”. Write or read comments about this article

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