June 8, 2009

Uebberoth: Chicago in lead for Olympics

Former U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth says Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics is the odds-on favorite.

Speaking Monday to WBBM-AM in Chicago, Ueberroth told city listeners, You are the leader. As I talk to people around the world, Chicago is now being considered very positively.

In one of his first interviews since stepping down as USOC chairman, Uebberoth said Chicago has a good chance of beating out Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games because of its passion for sports, its wide cultural diversity and its geography.

Chicago is a sports fan's town and embraces sports, he told WBBM. Chicago has tradition. You've got the best mayor, the most recognizable mayor other than maybe New York, who is respected around the world.

Olympic organizers also like Chicago because it seems to hold the potential to make money for them, Ueberroth added.

There's no question that if you take any of the four bid cities, economically, the worldwide Olympic movement will do much better with the influence of Chicago and all the corporate communities around Chicago, he said.