Ooooh, Chicago is all abuzz these days. As many of you (Chicago residents for sure) know, Chicago is one of four cities still in the running to host the Olympics in the summer of 2016. Olympic hopefuls (hopeful to host, not compete) have been flying high ever since Barack Obama became the coolest thing ever, figuring that pretty much clinched our bid. And now, today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is coming to town.
Of course, not everyone in Chicago is excited about the idea of Chicago hosting the Olympics. Like the people whose houses are going to be torn down to build the Olympic Village, or the people whose taxes are going up to pay for the houses being torn down… the police are actually leading the protests, if you can imagine that, taking advantage of this opportunity to highlight their discontent over contract negotiations with our fair mayor, Mr. Daley. Others simply say they would really like it if Chicago spend money on things like education and housing before taking on this additional responsibility. I wonder how the protesting in Chicago compares with the reaction the other bid cities (Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro), and if this is pretty common when a city considers hosting a major international event involving lots of capital and infrastructure investment…
I was actually in Beijing in the late fall of 2005, as they were really getting going on their Olympic prep work for 2008. They were already selling t-shirts and were halfway through remodeling national landmarks, not to mention tearing down hutongs and the like. China tried for a whole etiquette makeover too – when I was there, they were handing out brochures to locals to teach them about Western manners so as to make a good impression – things like shaking hands and not spitting all the time and the like. Very interesting.
Anyway, the IOC is coming to town, and with such sports heros as Michael Jordan and Oprah (?) on their side, the Chicago 2016 folks are all geared up to show the boys around town and see what they think. Everything downtown is covered in Olympics ads or protest flyers. With all this tension in the air, all the e-mails and news articles flying, I don’t know how much longer I can take it til someone makes a decision!
Sadly, here’s the news on that front:
Fortunately, Mac and I came up with an impromptu song for the day to help cut the anticipation, and it goes like this:
Shana: Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry
Shana: You better not pout, I’m tellin’ you why
Shana: The IOC is comin’ to town.
Still Shana: They’re makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice
Shana: Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Shana: The IOC is comin’ to town!
Mac: Hey, hun? I’m actually on the phone…