Olympic Candidate Cities Promise Economic Certainty

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 27, 2009 | Go to article overview

Olympic Candidate Cities Promise Economic Certainty


Byline: Associated Press

DENVER u They kept saying "Yes We Can."

More apt might have been another American presidentAEs once-popular catch phrase: "ItAEs the economy, stupid."

Mixed throughout the long string of promises they made Thursday, representatives for the 2016 Olympic candidate cities paid heed to the languishing worldwide economy, saying they would overcome it to guarantee successful games.

"ThereAEs a deep threat of recession during the construction for the 2016 Games," said Ichiro Kono, leader of the Tokyo bid. "YouAEre looking for an organizing committee you can trust. Everything will be delivered on time and on budget."

Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro all talked specifically about the economy as part of the 20-minute presentations they offered to International Olympic Committee members.

Chicago didnAEt go into specifics, but bid leader Pat Ryan said he would go into "granular detail" about the cityAEs economic plan during the IOCAEs site visit next week.

The United States is the only country that doesnAEt offer financial backing from federal government for an Olympic bid, though the Chicago and Illinois governments have given guarantees.

The rest of the countries made frequent mention of their federal backing, and both Rio and Tokyo latched onto President Barack ObamaAEs popular campaign catch phrase "Yes We Can."

"In our case, itAEs the same mind, why not South America?" said Sergio Cabral, governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

It was former President Bill Clinton, however, who took office based on a strategy that was distilled into the simple phrase, "ItAEs the economy, stupid." That was back in 1992, the last time America faced a recession that many say wasnAEt as bad as the current one. …

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