Archive for the 'Olympics' Category

I’m The Greatest Bouter of All Time!

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Last night I attended an informational session for people interested in volunteering at the World Boxing Championships. I don’t know anything about boxing beyond synthesizer-soundtracked montages. Once I tried it with some oversized boxing gloves for about 20 seconds and it was the most tiring thing I’ve ever done.

worldboxing.pngSo I almost didn’t go because… I don’t know… boxing? But as soon as I arrived at the Chicago Cultural Center I was glad I did. I suspect that most of the people who were there aren’t all that into boxing. I suspect most of them, like me, are totally geeked about the possibility of Chicago hosting the Olympics and want to help out any way they can.

You see, if Chicago is going to host the Olympics, we need to prove that we’re capable of hosting world class international sporting events. This boxing tournament is our biggest test to date. It needs to be a tremendous success. Over 1,000 athletes, coaches, trainers and officials are coming to Chicago in October. It’s our job to ensure that when they leave, they can’t stop talking about it. It’s not a hard — the city does most of the work — we just need to open the curtains.

I have a feeling that I will be at least a little into boxing by the time all this is over. Seeing people practice their craft at the highest level is always fascinating. Besides, I’ve already learned a couple things. Did you know that in amateur boxing they’re called “bouts” instead of “fights?”

I’d encourage all of you to come out and help us show off our city. Sign up to volunteer on the World Boxing Championships website. You must attend one of the remaining informational sessions before you can volunteer:

  • Thursday, September 27: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (Millennium Room, 5th Floor) 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 2: U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W. 35th St. (The Conference and Learning Center, enter at Gate 3, free parking in D-lot) 6:00pm – 7:30pm

The Chicago Star

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

I thought it was a shame that the IOC’s rules forced Chicago 2016 to change their torch logo. It was a pretty darn good logo. But you know what? The new one is pretty darn good too. The stars on the Chicago flag are quite iconic, and especially appropriate since each one represents a watershed Chicago event (Fort Dearborn, The Chicago Fire, The World’s Columbian Exposition, and The Century of Progress Exposition.) In fact, one alderman has even proposed adding a fifth star to the flag if Chicago is chosen to host the 2016 Summer Games, but that seems to be jumping the gun a bit.

If you need some design work, both the old and new logos were designed (pro bono) by VSA Partners, Inc.

Right now I’d put Chicago’s chances of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics at about 50/50. I think Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is the only real competition. Tokyo would be great, but it is too close to Beijing, who is hosting the Olympics next year. It is also the only applicant city that has already hosted the Olympics. Madrid and Prague will have trouble since London is hosting in 2012 and the 2014 Winter Olympics will also be in Europe. Also, the previous European Olympics were in Spain, which further hurts Madrid’s chances. Baku, Azerbaijan is exotic, but they’ve only competed in the Olympics since 1996 so they’re probably not ready yet. Doha, Qatar is in a region that hasn’t hosted the Olympics, but they don’t allow entry to Israelis. I certainly hope that would be a dealbreaker.

Rio, however, has a lot going for it: most importantly, the Olympics have never taken place in South America. They also hosted a very successful Pan American games this summer. Then again, Rio submitted bids for the 2004 and 2012 Olympics and didn’t make the short list, so who knows.