At an international sports convention in Denver in late March, Pat Ryan billed Chicago as an underdog to get the 2016 Games.
(Denver March 26, 2009) "People are not being very direct on who they're favoring at this moment. People don't say you're my favorite or you're my number two."
Fast forward to today and Ryan talks more positively about Chicago's prospects.
"What place do you think Chicago is in now? In Denver you told me third or fourth."
"I think we're bunched. I don't think there is a place."
A widely respected Olympic handicapper also calls this a tight field. But in its first ranking of candidate cities since September,
Around the Rings this week listed Chicago as the lead contender. The organization's founder cites Chicago's strong infrastructure, it's accommodations and a city-centered venue plan. Ryan says even though Chicago started out with less international recognition as its competitors: Tokyo, Rio, and Madrid, the information gap is closing.
He views a bid presentation next week in Switzerland as a critical opportunity to influence International Olympic Committee members, since they're not permitted to visit the candidate cities.
"Up until now, they've had a lot of other things on their minds, and the vote was out far enough that I don't think many of them focused on the race itself, now they are really focused."http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/sports/2016_olympics/Pat_Ryan_Chicago_2016_Summer_games