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  • Can Chicago win vote to host 2016 Olympic Games?


     In a little less than two years, the International Olympic Committee will select the site of the 2016 Olympic Games.

    Peter Ueberroth, chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, says Chicago trails other contenders. However, calendar, geography and organization make Chicago a viable candidate, according to Ed Hula of Around the Rings, a newsletter and Web site that covers the Olympic movement.

    Tokyo will be a formidable contender, Hula said, and Rio de Janeiro might be attractive to the IOC. Other cities bidding are Madrid; Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; and Prague, Czech Republic.

    "The novelty factor certainly has to be considered for Chicago and Rio," Hula said. "Maybe more strongly for Rio because South America has never hosted the Olympic Games."

    With the Olympics going to Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, speculation is that the IOC wouldn't go to Asia or Europe in 2016 because of a preference for rotating the Olympics.

    Rio was host for the recent Pan American Games, and despite some early glitches, earned a passing grade. Crime was less of a problem than expected, Hula said, and Rio's transportation system worked well. There were fewer problems in Brazil than in recent Pan Am Games, he added.

    "Things were not quite on the Olympic level. For a Pan Am Games, they were satisfactory," Hula said. "And they will have to do some things differently if they are going to do an Olympic Games."

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