Daley ready to start selling Chicago for 2016

August 10, 2008 6:18:05 PM PDT
Mayor Daley is promoting his dream of landing the 2016 Olympics for the city of Chicago. It's all about building trust during his weeklong trip. Etiquette and protocol are so much apart of the Chinese culture, just as they are the Olympic movement. Now that Opening Ceremonies are over, Mayor Daley is comfortable stepping up his 2016 sales effort. This is where relationships are made, trust is built and Olympic officials are influenced.

"They explain to me. They did a very good job, and I have a very good like for Chicago for the bidding," said Hassan Moustafa, Sports Federation president.

So much of this process is about getting them to trust you -- and of them asking if you're planning on being Mayor in 2016?

"They always say that," said Mayor Daley.

While Chicago's Olympic dream is up for discussion, the real buzz is all about Opening Ceremonies, not to mention the $40 billion the Chinese government spent to host the Games.

"I think you look at it not as how can you do this better in Chicago, but how can you do it in a way that's right for Chicago," said Pat Ryan, Chicago 2016 chairman.

The Games have sparked a sports renaissance of sorts in Beijing.

"I joined the cheering team for the Olympic Games," said Beijing resident Yin Sheng.

At Beijing's Urban Planning Institute, Mayor Daley saw firsthand the footprint of an Olympic Games, not to mention evidence of an urban transformation.

It's a wave of change Chicago native Errol Rudman says any city would be lucky to ride.

"I think it would be a wonderful thing," said Rudman. "It inspires people, gives them a sense of nationalism and pride, being a part of the world community."

Tickets for most Olympic competitions range in price of $10 US to several thousand, out of reach for many working class Chinese, but the government has made a special effort to fill stadiums with locals so images of them cheering on Chinese athletes can be broadcast around the world.

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