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  • Bidding for the Games: 2016 Cities Joust at Sportaccord


    About 600 people jammed into the ballroom to see the 2016 cities presentations. (ATR / Panasonic:Lumix)
    Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro presented their candidacies Thursday to a packed ballroom at the close of the Sportaccord convention in Denver. More than 600 people filled the room to standing room only. It was easily the most heavily attended session of the week-long event.

    The cities delivered markedly smooth and professionally composed presentations that reflect improvements over the first international presentations the cities made last October.

    All presentations were delivered in English and showed each city at its best. All sent the mayor or other government leaders.

    Each had strengths; some weaknesses also were exposed.


    Presentation team: Anita DeFrantz, senior IOC member; Mike Roberts, vice president of Chicago 2016; Bill Scherr,
    Bill Scherr, Chicago 2016 bid sports director, presents the venue plan. (ATR / Panasonic:Lumix)
    Director of Sport and Olympic wrestling bronze medalist; Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic champion in athletics and world record holder; Mayor Richard M. Daley; Patrick G. Ryan, chairman of Chicago 2016.

    Who's missing? Chicago and Madrid were the only two cities that did not have their NOC chief on stage. Larry Probst, the USOC chairman of the board, was in the front row, along with Acting CEO Stephanie Streeter.

    Themes: Reaching out to the world through friendship; delivering a spectacular sports experience in a stunning setting with compact Games; inspiring young people to reach for a better life through Olympic and Paralympic sport; support from the U.S. Olympic Committee; ease of access into the United States.

    Discussion of financial guarantees: No. "We were making a presentation to people of sport," Ryan said at the press conference. "There were some voters in the room, but we didn't feel like that was an appropriate use of our 20 minutes."

    Name dropping: A short film said that Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, visited the World's Fair (Columbian Exposition) and called Chicago "a city that is rising." Chicago's film also showed legendary athletics star Jesse Owens and boxer Cassius Clay, now known as Muhammad Ali.


    U.S. President Barack Obama may not have been present, but his influence is felt. (ATR / Panasonic:Lumix)
    "Chicago's a city that thinks big, whose children now know they can be anything in the world, including president of the United States," - Anita DeFrantz

    "Our legacy is not about bricks or buildings, it's about people, investing in humanity." -- Bill Scherr

    "If we are selected, the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a national priority for our country." - Mayor Richard M. Daley

    Time: 20 minutes, the only city to stay within the time limit.

    Grade: A minus - Well-delivered with energy, aided by teleprompter, beautiful images. Light on mention of financial guarantees. Still not clear from presentation as to the reason the Olympics should come to Chicago. Stuck to the message of creating sport opportunities for youth. Failed to directly address international federations in the audience the way other cities did.


    Presentation team:
    IOC member and Olympian Chiharu Igaya and Ichiro Kono, head of Tokyo 2016, before the cities' presentations. (ATR / Panasonic:Lumix)
    Ichiro Kono, IOC executive board member, chairman and CEO Tokyo 2016; Seiko Hashimoto, state secretary for foreign affairs and seven-time Olympian in speed skating and cycling; Tsunekazu Takeda, president of Japanese Olympic Committee, vice president of Tokyo 2016 and Olympic equestrian; Chiharu Igaya, IOC vice president and three-time Olympian in alpine skiing; Yuko Arakida, vice chair of Tokyo 2016 athletes' commission.

    Themes: "Setting the stage for Heroes" through venues, people and city; safety; compact Games; three billion viewers in Asia during primetime; most accessible city in the world for people with disabilities.

    Playing to the crowd: With many representatives from international federations in the audience, Tokyo promised every IF would be allocated office space at venues six months before the first test event at no charge. Tokyo also pledged every sport would be staged in a themed cluster designed to help promote the sport to a global audience and each sport would have access to a significant fund allocated for development of sports and culture. In addition, every IF would have a dedicated hotel.

    Financial story: A slide showing a green road sign with the word "Recession" and an arrow for "next exit" was part of the financial section. "In these difficult economic times, Tokyo 2016 guarantees 100 percent to deliver the Games," Kono said. He added that $4 billion had already been secured for the non-OCOG budget. "Not bad when you consider our budget is only $3.8 billion." Also, Hashimoto says the Japanese government is fully committed to honor all financial guarantees as required by the IOC.

    Olympic tie-in: Hashimoto was born just before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and said her name came from the word for Olympic flame.


    "The Japanese government promises to use the games
    in Tokyo to help bring unity and hope to the world. Yes, we can!" - Seiko Hashimoto

    "In Japan we treat all Olympians as heroes. We are creating the finest stage for Olympians." -- Ichiro Kono

    "The Japanese Olympic Committee has strong and stable leadership. We believe this is essential for successful Games delivery." -- Tsunekazu Takeda

    "Over 100 million people desire the Games. Japanese are really passionate about sport and we are well-versed in Olympism. We believe in it. We live it." - Tsunekazu Takeda

    Time: 21-22 minutes.

    Grade: B - The most solid presentation delivered by Tokyo in this 2016 campaign, with teleprompter assistance. Bid CEO Ichiro Kono is the most effective of the Tokyo presenters. No doubts over the ability of Tokyo to deliver the Olympics. But lingering is the question "why", a fault most of the field also faces. Warning sign for the bid: only one question from the media at a post presentation briefing.


    Presentation team: Carlos Nuzman, IOC member, president Brazilian Olympic Committee and chairman Rio 2016; Orlando Silva, Brazilian
    Carlos Osorio of Rio 2016 and Orlando Silva, Brazil sports minister, at the press conference following the presentations. (ATR / Panasonic:Lumix)
    Minister of Sport; Sergio Cabra, Governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro; Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro; Carlos Osorio, Rio 2016 Secretary General; Adriana Behar, world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist in beach volleyball.

    Themes: Bringing the Olympic Games to South America for the first time; Brazil would join Mexico (1968, 1970), Germany (1972, 1974) and the United States (1994, 1996) as countries hosting a World Cup and Olympics two years apart; enhance the spectator experience; guarantee full stadiums for athletes and broadcasters through a program to fill empty seats with passionate young people; Live Your Passion, and appeal to youth throughout the continent.

    Biggest applause: A map of the world showing the locations of every Olympic city in North America, Europe and Asia. Every continent is orange except South America, which is blue. "I was very surprised today; it's the first time I saw in my whole life in the Olympic Movement the big applause of the audience for a map," Nuzman said. "It's an honor for us to see the recognition for the majority of the audience of the map that we show, the map of the Olympic Games."

    Financial guarantees: Nuzman said he could state with confidence and certainty that Rio has the commitment and guarantees needed to deliver a successful games. "We know the last thing anyone wants in the current financial climate is budget problems," he said, "so the Rio 2016 budget is complete, honest and realistic." He added that one-third of the budget has already been invested and the government will cover any shortfall.


    Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes illustrates how other countries have hosted football world cups and Olympics two years apart. (ATR / Panasonic:Lumix)
    "We carry the hopes and inspirations of South America." - Carlos Nuzman

    "Rio is ready, ready to host the Games for our city, our country and our continent. This is a milestone moment, and with your support, we can create history on behalf of the entire Olympic Movement." - Carlos Nuzman

    "We know Tokyo can, Chicago can, Madrid can, but yes, we can." -- Sergio Cabral

    Time: 24 minutes.

    Grade: A - The most passionate presentation of the four. The message was clear that Brazil has the economy to support the Games and that the Pan Am Games of 2007 has helped create a sports infrastructure to support. Rio earned the heartiest burst of applause of the four when Carlos Nuzman noted the absence of an Olympic Games in South America. Rio De Janeiro seemed to answer the "Why?" question better than the others.


    Presentation team: Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., IOC member; Jaime Lissavetzky, Secretary of State for Sport; Mercedes Coghen, CEO of Madrid 2016; Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, Mayor of Madrid.

    Best combination of certainty and vitality; experience; Games with the Human Touch; compact city; support of 92.6 percent of citizens; Spanish government's adoption of anti-doping law; work toward eradicating violence and racism, "safest bid."

    Old-fashioned presentation: The speakers referred to their speeches on paper instead of using teleprompters.

    A view of the future: Madrid showed three films, more than any of the other cities. The third film had the greatest effect. It was supposed to be set in 2017, a year after the Games, and showed people of all ages who delivered lines such as "I learned," "I embraced," "I was here," "I jumped," " I suffered," "I cried," "I laughed," etc.

    Financial guarantees: Madrid has a minimum investment guaranteed by the government. It also has a "modest, realistic and perfectly manageable budget," said Lissavetzky.


    "Madrid can make all of you and all of us share the joy of the Olympic spirit not only in the stadiums, but in our daily lives for the seven years to come." Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr.

    "Madrid is a way of life." -
    Mercedes Coghen of Madrid16 recalled the effect winning a gold medal in field hockey had on her in 1992. (ATR / Panasonic:Lumix)
    Mercedes Coghen

    "Many years have already passed since I competed in the Barcelona 1992 Games when I had the privilege of winning the gold medal. It's hard to fully express the energy, excitement and togetherness I felt that year. It changed my life, and I think the Games can change the lives of not only those living in Madrid, but the lives of people who come to celebrate the Games with us. They're bringing back home a lasting human life experience."

    Time: 23 minutes

    Grade: B plus - Most stirring videos, raising the emotional appeal for Madrid. It is clear that Madrid is a special city ready to welcome the world. But the "why" of the bid seems indefinite. At one point the presentation veered dangerously toward parochialism with the suggestion that Madrid would offer Olympics for the "Mediterranean and Hispanic world". Warning sign for the bid: just two questions from reporters at the post-presentation press conference. The bid, like Tokyo's, fails to muster much media curiosity.

    See all Sportaccord coverage here.

    With reporting from Karen Rosen and Ed Hula in Denver.

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