The battle for the 2016 Olympic site is down to the stretch. A thirteen person IOC evaluation committee lead by 1984 Olympic gold medalist at 400 meter intermediate hurdles, Nawal Nawal El Moutawakel, visited the proposed sites for Chicago 2016, were treated to a special message from Michael Jordan, who could not be at the Olympic event due to a prior engagement. Jordan noted in the video that the Olympics were one his most important memories in sport. While the media was kept a distance from the Evaluation committee, the committee were met by a group of famous Olympic athletes, from Nadia Comenica to Pablo Morales. The brisk Spring weather ( read, very, very cold) of Chicago did not stop the evaluation committee who witnessed a gymnastic competition at McCormick Center, as well as a presentation by Native Americans and a Chinese dragon that followed them around McCormick Center. As they ventured outside to Washington Park, they were greeted by a group of young Chicagoans carrying all 205 flags of IOC member countries.
Plain clothes police kept the roads clear for the evaluation committee as they took a reported eight hours to visit the various sites around the Windy city.
What could be the dinner of the year in Chicago happens tonight at the Chicago Institute of Fine Arts, where, among the guests will be the one and only Oprah Winfrey, a proud Chicagoan, to give the IOC evaluation committe a taste of Chicago. The visit concludes on Tuesday.
The battle for 2016, between Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Chicago has gone on for over a year. It will be fascinating to watch between now and October, when the decision will be made.
For more on the visit, please click on http://www.insidethegames.com/show-news.php?id=5402.