Chicago has been chosen as the U.S candidate city to bid for the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. As VOA's David Byrd reports, Chicago beat out two-time host Los Angeles to win the U.S. candidacy.
U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth made the announcement at a news conference in Washington Saturday. "Ladies and gentlemen at this time I am very proud to announce that the United States' applicant city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games is Chicago," he said.
Mr. Ueberroth said he wished it were possible to put both cities together, because both had strong bids, but ultimately one candidate had to be chosen. The vote totals were not announced but all 11 members of the USOC Board of Directors voted.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daly said that working on Chicago's bid gave him a glimpse into what can be achieved when people work together, and it was unlike anything he had experienced. "What the Olympic movement means, not only to this country but to the world, is completely different than anything else you have dealt with. Politics, government, anything. And to really recognize the best of humanity. And to me we need that more today in this world than anything else," he said.
Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984 and had many established venues for the Games. Chicago's bid focused around its downtown lakefront and nearby parks. Chicago has to build an athlete's village and an 80,000 seat, $366 million main stadium.
The U.S. bid city now has to compete against international candidates expected to include Madrid, Prague, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee will select the 2016 host city in October of 2009. Sixty votes are needed to win the right to host the Olympics.