The Rio 2016 bid committee today celebrated the planting of 3,580 trees to contribute to the neutralization of the carbon emitted during the city’s bid campaign to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event, held at Rio’s Botanical Garden, was part of celebrations of the country’s National Tree Day and was attended by Environment Minister, Carlos Minc, State Environment Secretary, Marilene Ramos, and Rio 2016’s Chief Operations Officer, Carlos Luiz Martins.
Environmental protection and sustainability is a key consideration of the Rio 2016 bid committee. The 3,580 saplings are part of the state government’s “Rio 2016 Zero Carbon” project, which involves planting 46,000 trees today. Overall, Rio 2016 will offset 716 tons of carbon emissions relative to the period September 2007 to October 2009. “I’m happy to see more and more people fighting for the environment. Brazil has a climate change study plan and carbon reduction targets. We are going to bring the 2016 Games to Rio de Janeiro and aim to stage a green competition,” said Minister Minc.
Tokyo, 22 September 2009 The Chair and CEO of Tokyo’s Bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games today expressed his firm belief that Japan’s capital is the best possible choice to host the world’s greatest sports event as the world recovers from recession.
“Tokyo is the right choi e for a post-recession Olympic and Paralympic Games. No other 2016 Bid city is offering the same level of guarantees to the IOC, which include the greatest possible commitment of both our national and local government and US$4 billion already set aside in the bank to cover all infrastructure development.
“This is the commitment of an Olympic-loving country that has proved its loyalty and stands here today with open arms. More than 100 million people in Japan are passionate for Tokyo 2016 to win our race to host the Games. They are supported by a strong corporate community and some of the most successful sports brands and sponsors in the world, who guarantee to provide huge commercial opportunities for Olympic sport.”
Tokyo is guaranteeing a ‘headache-free’, recession-proof Games. The city has the lar est metropolitan budget in the world and, if it were a country, would have the 15th highest Gross Domestic Product ranking. Japan is the second economic power of the world and able to provide full national guarantees for the Games, making it a completely safe choice for the Olympic Movement in tough economic times.
Dr. Kono added:
“We also recognise that to win the right to host the 2016 Games we must offer a tremendous legacy for Olympic and Paralympic sport, the youth of the world and pioneering solutions for the challenges we face as a human race. Hence, we are offering a 100-year international sporting, social, economic and environmental legacy which we believe is unprecedented for the Games.
“Tokyo needs the 2016 Games because we are in pursuit of a dramatic modernisation that will transform our city forever. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government began ‘Tokyo Big Chang : the 10 Year Plan’ in 2006, which will be taken to a new level if we are award d the Games. The greatest transformation in a city’s history will be complete y 2016 in time for the Games to act as a beacon of hope for a greener, brighter future for us all.
City’s diverse population, large number of houses of worship, promise comfortable setting for 2016 Games
As a city of many cultures, Chicago is also a city of many religions, marked by a history of tolerance and inclusion. Chicago 2016’s Religious Leadership Advisory Council is working with the bid committee to ensure all faiths have access to houses of worship during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, should Chicago be chosen as the 2016 Host City.
“If we were to win the privilege of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, athletes and visitors who travel here from around the globe will feel at home,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “We have a rich diversity of faiths, respect for the people who practice them and houses of worship that represent the world’s great religions.”
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley often refers to Chicago as “a city of immigrants,” a city built by immigrants and one that continues to attract new residents from around the world. Citizens with roots in more than 150 countries call Chicago home today, and they speak 130 languages.
“I believe that if Chicago were given the privilege of hosting the Games in 2016, athletes from the Muslim world and others would feel like they were competing on their home turf, given the diversity of this city, and would be welcomed by our many wonderful houses of worship,” said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, chairman of The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, an organization representing more than 400,000 American Muslims and more than 120 mosques in Chicago.
Since Chicago’s founding, people from virtually every country around the world have settled in Chicago and have built communities and opened new houses of worship around the city. Today, hundreds of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and other places of worship provide spiritual and architectural richness to Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Bid leaders attend event and congratulate IPC on 20 years of Paralympic sport development
CHICAGO (September 10, 2009)—Representatives from Chicago 2016 returned this week after traveling to Bonn, Germany in support of the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) 20th Anniversary. With more than 350 guests, the celebration event included members of the Paralympic Movement and other personalities from the world of sport.
Linda Mastandrea, director of Paralympic sport and accessibility and Bill Scherr, director of sport and chairman of World Sport Chicago, joined the dignitaries to mark the momentous occasion.
“The IPC’s work over these past two decades has not only fostered elite competition but has promoted the development of Paralympic sport with youth and audiences across the globe,” said Mastandrea, who is herself a gold medalist in wheelchair track. “I am honored to be part of a movement where so many people have given of themselves in order to allow athletes like myself to experience the incredible transformative power of the Paralympic Games. I look forward to working with this amazing group of people and organizations around the world to continue to create awareness and bring social change for others with disabilities. I am proud to say Chicago 2016 is fully committed to this effort.”
Chicago 2016 has expressed its commitment to the Paralympic Movement and stressed the importance of the Paralympic Games to its bid plan since its inception. Chicago 2016 aims to host both an Olympic and Paralympic Games that are inclusive, integrated and provide equality of experience for all athletes and spectators.
“Chicago has a history of promoting disability sport and overall accessibility,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “The opportunity to host a Chicago Paralympic Games would build on this foundation and further existing accessibility initiatives at the local, national and international levels.”
Chicago has been at the forefront in terms of increasing accessibility and awareness, with building codes, transportation technology, safety initiatives and support programs that address the needs of people with disabilities. The city has also passed a resolution supporting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a comprehensive human rights treaty signed by President Barack Obama in July 2009.
Should Chicago win the honor of hosting the Games, support from the government, the disability community and the network of organizations and programs that promote Paralympic sport will create unparalleled enthusiasm and excitement during the month long celebration. The legacy that will be left will guarantee that others can enjoy more accessible housing and transit, as well as benefit from increased coverage of important issues in the disability community. Furthermore, partnerships with Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, World Sport Chicago and others will ensure that students, especially those in early education, are exposed to Paralympic Sport and the Paralympic Games and inspired by the achievements of the athletes.
Chicago 2016 and its legacy organization, World Sport Chicago (WSC), announced today a new outreach program aimed at spreading the values and ideals of the Olympic Movement to youth within the United States. The Athlete Ambassador Program is a program that pairs Olympic and Paralympic athletes with children and youth sport organizations. Kids across the nation will have the unique opportunity to meet America’s most elite competitors, hear their stories and get health and training tips through sport clinics.
“Bringing these accomplished sports figures into the lives of our country’s youth is a true motivator for success,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “Using sport as a common interest, this model builds a relationship between athlete and child that encourages friendship and personal growth. World Sport Chicago continues to foster positive sports programs, and to date has reached more than 30,000 children in Chicago alone through its many initiatives.”
The Athlete Ambassador Program will build a community of Olympians and Paralympians around the country, enabling them to give back to the Olympic Movement by engaging youth in sport activities. Integrating with the US Olympians Association, the Athlete Ambassador Program will link sports groups to Olympians and Paralympians.
By bringing athletes and children together face-to-face, and also by integrating new media and social networking tools, the Athlete Ambassador Program will allow for connections at many times and in many places. The goal of the Program is to interact with as many as 500,000 kids each year in person and millions more via the internet to help them develop a love for sport and strengthen their abilities.
“Chicago 2016 has truly committed to leaving a legacy and spreading the Olympic Movement to as many as possible,” said gold medalist Bart Connor, who will serve as director of the program. “The accomplishments of my fellow athletes are inspiring in themselves, but reaching out to children one-on-one has the greatest impact. We hope to inspire them to achieve their own dreams.”
Today, Chicago 2016 announced the release of the committee’s Stewardship Report, a detailed document that demonstrates Chicago 2016’s commitment to transparency, sound management practices, effective fund-raising and track record of cost containment. The report is the first of its kind produced by a U.S. bid seeking the honor of hosting the Games.
As outlined in the report, the bid has:
- been 100 percent privately financed; revenues through June 30, primarily from contributions, were $76.9 million, $3.7 million ahead of the overall budget
- managed expenses within its approved budget
- demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion
- leveraged best practices and procedures
- relied on experts to ensure the bid’s plan is achievable and responsible and manages delivery and financial risk
“The Stewardship Report provides a detailed summary of how the bid is using its resources,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “If we are fortunate enough to win the honor of hosting the Games, the residents of Chicago can expect similar transparency with quarterly financial reports to the city council.”
The report also explains how the bid has been shaped and strengthened by contributions from thousands of supporters.
“Nearly 1.500 individuals and organizations have made financial contributions,” Ryan said. “Many thousands more have given of their time and talent. Chicago-area businesses and organizations have been extraordinarily generous in providing pro bono support, and our list of volunteers stands at more than 20.000.”
Also this week, the Civic Federation of Chicago released a report on the projections and estimates contained in Chicago 2016’s financial plan for the Games.
The report said that “the operating budget, including venue construction, proposed by Chicago 2016 is fair and reasonable” and recommends that the Chicago City Council provide oversight and receive “regular reports.”
“Our intention was always to work closely with the council if we are awarded the Games, and periodic reports on our progress would be a key part of that effort,” Ryan said.
The Stewardship Report can be found online at chicago2016.org/Stewardship.
Today the IOC Executive Board announced their decision to allow Golf and Rugby to move on for a full IOC vote in October to be included as Olympic Sports for the 2016 Games. The sports of Baseball, Softball, Karate, Roller Sports and Squash were eliminated from further consideration.
USOC Statement on Golf, Rugby Recommendation By IOC Executive Board
Stephanie Streeter, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Olympic Committee
The U.S. Olympic Committee would like to offer its congratulations to the sports of Golf and Rugby which were recommended by the IOC’s Executive Board to go before the IOC’s full membership vote in October for inclusion into the 2016 Olympic Games. We also would like to reach out to our Olympic Family sports of Baseball, Softball, Karate, Roller Sports and Squash to praise the quality efforts each put forth in this process. They are great sports and I would hope each one of them would keep up their efforts to gain status as an Olympic sport. “
Read more about these developments -
Scene from the 2008 WSC Soccer Tournament
Hosted by World Sport Chicago, top youth soccer clubs from around the world and the Chicagoland area met in Chicago this weekend for the 2009 International Cup.
The round robin tournament featured Chicago club teams and squads from Germany, South Africa and Nigeria. Nigeria 36 Lions White beat Nigeria 36 Lions Green 8-5 on Sunday morning to win the title. It was the second year the International Cup was hosted by World Sport Chicago, the legacy of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“World Sport Chicago got involved with the International Cup because it offers a great opportunity to bring youth from around the world together to compete in an Olympic sport,” said Bill Scherr, chairman of World Sport Chicago and director of sport for Chicago 2016.
“The tournament allowed youth from Chicago to meet and play with their peers from around the world. Through their shared passion for the game, the athletes were able to better understand and respect each others cultures as well as the game of soccer.”
The opening rounds of the International Cup, played by over 165 youth aged 15-16, were played in Lincoln Park and the championship matches took place at St. Ignatius College Prep. The Lincoln Park fields are situated between the Lincoln Park Tennis Center and North Avenue beach, the sites of the proposed tennis and triathlon competitions, respectively, in the city’s plan for the 2016 Games. St. Ignatius, located on the city’s near west side, is close to a number of proposed Olympic venues. The UIC Pavilion would host boxing, the United Center would have basketball, handball, artistic gymnastic and trampoline, and Douglas Park would be home to the cycling velodrome and BMX track.
Zurich HelpPoint is there when it matters most by helping Chicago 2016 in its efforts to win the bid
SCHAUMBURG, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zurich North America Commercial, a leading property and casualty insurance provider, announced today its support for Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The International Olympic Committee considers the level of support from the community in its selection of the Host City,” said Mike Foley, CEO of Zurich North America Commercial. “Zurich has strong ties to the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, and wants to help Chicago 2016 in its efforts to secure the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Backing the bid is an opportunity for Zurich to show our dedication to the Games as a member of the business community. It’s also an opportunity to show our support to Chicago, while continuing our history of contributing to the most important events in Chicago, similar to the support we provided to the World’s Fair in the city in 1933.”
Zurich Financial Services, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, became the first foreign insurer to enter the U.S. market and opened its U.S. headquarters in Chicago in 1912. Today, Schaumburg, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, is home to Zurich Financial Services Group’s North American headquarters. Zurich employs approximately 60,000 people worldwide and nearly 3,000 people in its offices in Schaumburg and Chicago.
Zurich North America Commercial will provide its support for the Chicago 2016 bid by:
1. Encouraging its employees to participate in fund-raising efforts coordinated by the Chicago 2016 committee;
2. Taking an active role in Chicago 2016’s Summit on Sport and Sustainability;
3. Designating senior management team members to active roles in each of the following committees: Chicago 2016 bid committee, Next Generation Leadership Committee, and Environmental Advisory Sub-Committee; and
4. Hosting a community event in Schaumburg to help garner support from other Chicago area businesses.