About Chicago 2016 Summer Olympics
The Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics was an unsuccessful campaign, first recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on September 14, 2007. The IOC shortlisted four of the seven applicant cities—Madrid, Spain; Tokyo, Japan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Chicago, United States; over Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; and Prague, Czech Republic—on June 4, 2008 during a meeting in Athens, Greece. This was followed by an intensive bidding process which finished with the election of Rio de Janeiro at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, Denmark, on October 2, 2009.
In Chicago’s bid, the games would have been held from July 22 to August 7, with the Paralympics held between August 12 and August 28. The bid plan emphasized use of Chicago Park District parks to host the games, but other existing facilities such as Soldier Field and McCormick Place would host events. The bid included a plan for North Side, Downtown Loop and South Side celebration locations that would have had massive, high-definition LED screens for unticketed visitors. The bid noted that there was a very high concentration of event locations and training facilities very close to each other and that the majority of event sites were clustered together. Thus, the vast majority of athletes would have been close to their competitions.
Chicago earned a general score of 7.0 during the Applicant phase, after a detailed study of the Applicant Files received by the IOC Working Group on January 14, 2008. Between April 4 and April 7, 2009, the IOC Evaluation Commission, led by Nawal El Moutawakel, arrived in Chicago to assess the conditions of the city. The Commission attended technical presentations, participated in question-and-answer sessions about the Candidature File and made inspections in all the existing venues across the city. Though considered a favorite entering the voting process, and despite personal appeals from such high-profile Chicagoans as U.S. President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey, Chicago was eliminated on the first ballot in IOC voting on October 2, 2009. Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting with only 18 votes in a three-round exhaustive ballot of the IOC.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Chicago over Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco, as its candidate city to host the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics on April 14, 2007. This is the city’s third failure, after two failed attempts for the 1952 and the 1956 Summer Olympics. Numerous Olympic Games in North America, including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, hurt Chicago’s bid. It would have been the ninth Olympics hosted in the United States, after the 1904, 1932, 1984 and 1996 Summer Olympics; and the 1932, 1960, 1980 and 2002 Winter Olympics.