Sweet Home Chicago
First off, let's take a minute to admire that logo. Is that not one of the coolest logos you've ever seen? Anyways, last Saturday afternoon I was spending "quality time" with my father, sitting at my parent's house (mainly for the huge tv with HD picture) watching Sid the Kid and the Pens battle Ottawa in the NHL playoffs when the game was interrupted around 3 pm for the US Olympic announcement. After a lot of babbling, when it came down that Chicago would be the US' candidate city, I must admit my dad and I let out a little cheer and a high five. My dad, a lifelong Chicagoan, was excited about the possibility of the Olympics in Chicago and I must say I am, too. Though right now there are still a few big hurdles and we're more than two years away from the IOC announcement, but its an exciting time.
Despite being America's 3rd largest city, Chicago is regularly disrespected and overlooked, but Chicagoans are used to it and have an attitude befitting our status as the "Second City", unlike those in NYC, we have adopted a midwestern modesty and people in the city tend to have far more civility than you'll find in other large cities. Yet the Second City tag no longer is fitting for Chicago. Chicago has an extremely vibrant art community and 2 excellent art musems. Right now, there is no hotter food city in the United States with some absolutely amazing chefs holding court in Chicago. It has a great music scene and is arguably the home of blues in the north. Also, the city is well known for its architecture, both modern and classic.
Chicago has made 3 previous attempts at hosting the Olympics and came up short 2 times and then losing out to St. Louis (what?). While Chicago was the unanimous choice to host the 1904 Olympics, the games were ultimately moved to St. Louis to be held along with the 1904 World's Fair.
My fear was that the backing of major companies would tilt things in LA's favor, but Chicago corporations came through and it seems the USOC also wants to go with something new (many of LA's venues were used in the 1984 Olympics, some even were used in the 1932 Olympics). There is sure to be an abundance of energy behind the Chicago bid.
Chicago has an excellent plan in place for the Olympics focusing on some of the things the IOC looks at most. The majority of events will take place along Chicago's lake front and will make it very convenient to get from venue to venue while also offering a very scenic area. Further, the Chicago plan is heavy on urban redevelopment and longterm sustainability. The South Loop has undergone a lot of urban renewal (read gentrification) in the past few years, but the plan for the Olympics will focus some much needed resources on the South Side, but won't solely be gentrification, instead offering a lot of new housing to low and middle income individuals.
Despite all these positives, many around the world are unfamiliar with the many positives that Chicago has. The Olympics would be the perfect opportunity for the world to discover the beauty of Chicago. I have high hopes for the Chicago bid, there isn't a city I would more like to see host the Olympics, here's to Chicago 2016!!