Chicago's 2016 bid team prepares IOC pitch

Daley, 2016 team in Switzerland
June 16, 2009 (LAUSANNE, Switzerland) They're trying to convince the International Olympic Committee that Chicago is the best choice to host the games.

Madrid, Tokyo and Rio are also making their pitches to the committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Chicago and the other bid cities came to Switzerland not knowing how big their audience would be. It is surpassing expectations. Ninety four of the 107 IOC members who will eventually pick the host city are here.

On the northern shore of the original Lake Geneva you'll find the epicenter of the Olympic movement, and no shortage of people who are proud of it.

"Modern Olympic Games has now become the greatest benefit for a winning city," said Alex Gilady, IOC member, Israel.

Mayor Richard Daley will lead a team Wednesday asking the IOC to give the Games to Chicago in 2016. His sales pitch won't be subtle.

"We think we have a strong message of inclusion of young people in sports for a legacy that will have a long lasting legacy not only for our country but the world," said Daley.

The president of the International Olympic Committee seems to be striking down one of Chicago's biggest selling points: the fact that when the Olympics are held in the United States they are far more profitable."The economics should not drive our decision. We have shown frequently in the past that we did not necessarily go for the richest city and I believe we were right to do that," said Jacques Rogge, president, International Olympic Committee.

While Wednesday's presentations will provide one of only two chances for IOC members to compare, in person, the plans of Chicago, Rio, Madrid and Tokyo, much of the real work is done in hotel lobbies and bars like this one, where representatives of the bid cities hope for chance encounters that build relationships.

"We look at it like giving the dearest thing we have, the Olympic Games, to someone else for seven years to nurse it and to make it successful so they have to be very, very trustful," said Gilady.

Three Chicagoans traveled to Switzerland to say our city shouldn't be trusted with Games. Representatives of the group No Games Chicago delivered news clippings they hope will reach IOC members. They detail corruption, cronyism and cash problems in the city.

"These are facts that I'm sure the 2016 committee have not placed before the personages here. If they are taking all the facts into consideration and weighing the pluses and minuses I think they'll find Chicago's bid deficient," said Tom Tresser, No Games Chicago.

Olympics officials met with the protestors. But, as one IOC staffer put it, "after Beijing, we're pretty used to this sort of thing." As for the concerns about corruption, none of the 2016 cities, nor the IOC for that matter, have clean hands.

ABC 7's Ben Bradley Is traveling with the mayor. Check out Ben's blog.

Watch for Ben's reports this week on our news at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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