Friday, March 20, 2009

2016 Summer Olympics

Last night, the University of Chicago, Booth Graduate School of Business International Roundtable sponsored a talk on the Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. John MacAloon led a highly interactive discussion with the people in attendance updating us on the process and progress of this initiative. The International Olympic Committee will be visiting Chicago the first week in April to review the bid proposal. Presenting to the IOC will be the mayor, other local dignitaries, John MacAloon, and Barack Obama.

On October 2nd the IOC will make their selection from among Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Madrid, and Chicago.

Several organizations are involved in the Olympic games in addition to the IOC. There is the US National Olympic Committee; the International Federations for each sport (28 of them); and the local organizing committee. (Some entities have their own independent status as a NOC, like Puerto Rico which is why it will never vote to become a mere state in the USA.)

What is very interesting is how our US cultural view of the Olympics, and the view the IOC would like to promote, misaligned they are. In the US, the Olympics are all about medals, advertising and revenues-vs-expenses. Not so elsewhere.
Obviously these are of interests to other countries as well but the primary purpose of the Olympics is to foster the Olympic Movement. “Olympism is a life philosophy which draws together sport, culture and education in the aim of creating a harmonious balance between body, will and mind. Originally promoted by Coubertin, this philosophy is an essential element of the Olympic Movement and the celebration of the Games. For today’s Olympic Movement, Olympism is constructed around three core values :excellence, friendship and respect.”
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