Mayor Richard M. Daley today asked other mayors from around the country to help Chicago bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to the United States in 2016.
In a presentation made at a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C., Daley said the Olympics represent a chance for the United States to portray itself as it truly is: a place where people from different backgrounds and ethnicities can come together to pursue their dreams.
"The Olympics presents our city, the Midwest region and the entire country with a unique opportunity not only to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors but also to place ourselves - through the media - in the homes of millions of people all around the world.
"The Olympic and Paralympic Games would attract new visitors from around the globe, generate international good will and create new businesses and jobs for the hard-working people of our city and our country.
"And the Olympic Games would leave a legacy that strengthens the Olympic Movement by building passion for sport, culture, education and the environment for future generations around the world," Daley told the mayors.
He said a big part of Chicago's job in the coming months is to engage elected officials from all over the country in its efforts so they can carry the message of an Olympic Games in the United States with honest enthusiasm.
"Chicago has made great progress over the years because we involved the people who would be affected by our decisions, we earned their support and we have been able to move forward in a way that benefits everyone.
"Now, by working together, we hope to build a new heart of the Olympic Movement, in the heart of America," he said.
Daley identified three things the mayors could do to help bring the Olympic Games back to the United States:
"Remember, this is not just Chicago's bid - it's our nation's opportunity to reach out to the world," Daley said.
He characterized Chicago's bid proposal plan as "fiscally responsible, sustainable, and one that will leave a positive legacy for the city, the nation and the Olympic Movement" and outlined five reasons that make Chicago the ideal location for the 2016 Olympics:
For the athletes, Chicago is planning to create a once-in-a-lifetime Olympic experience that magnifies the power, passion and joy of sport and integrates the full array of the city's cultural attractions.
"Over the last two years, I've traveled to Athens, Barcelona, London and Beijing, and I've seen what the Olympic Games can do for a city. The Olympic Games would leave a legacy that strengthens the Olympic Movement by building passion for sport, culture, education and the environment for future generations around the world," Daley said.
"It is a great responsibility to be the nation's representative before the International Olympic Committee. I believe the United States represents hope and opportunity for people around the world and that is why our country continues to thrive.
"And it's why, with your help, we will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016," he said.