Chicago 2016Chicago is abuzz as the decision on our 2016 Olympic bid is only days away. I feel a personal connection to the bid for this opportunity as my great grandmother helped organize the A Century of Progress International Exposition, and another distant relative, Rufus C. Dawes, (brother of former U.S. Vice President Charles G. Dawes), served as President of its Board of Trustees.  This 100th anniversary celebration for Chicago welcomed people from all over the world in 1933-34.

Of course, A Century of Progress was not our city’s first foray into hosting a large, international audience. The World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas was seen as a chance to show the world that the United States was a great country and to put Chicago on the world map. Among the many exhibits was the world’s first Ferris wheel.

I was on the fence about blogging on our Olympic bid until I read Greg Hinz Crain’s Chicago Business editorial, Get the Games (registration required). He weighs the pros and cons, and ultimately concludes “on balance, despite the risks, the Olympics would be good for Chicago, and Chicago good for the Olympics.”

In the meantime, I for one will be standing by with my fingers crossed on Friday morning awaiting the results.


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  • He sends in a nice ball, and it appears to be knocked out of play by Chicago defender Wilman Conde. Instead, it is called a goal kick.