CHICAGOâ€”The International Olympic Committeeâ€™s (IOC) five day tour of the city was cut short late Sunday evening. Members began arriving on Thursday at Chicagoâ€™s Oâ€™Hare International Airport and were welcomed by a colorful display of 2016 Olympic banners and flags.
Mayor Daley was on hand for the IOCâ€™s arrival. â€śWeâ€™ve been planning this for a long time. We have to put a lot of time and money into this; weâ€™ll try to impress the [committee] as much as possible. It will pay off in the long run.â€ť
Daleyâ€™s plan was to showcase the city from its beginning, while staying away from â€ścertain areas.â€ť The tour started with some of the buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire and continued downtown. The group proceeded to look at many of Chicagoâ€™s sports and theater venues before heading north.
The IOC was scheduled to see Wrigleyville on Sunday. The group, however, insisted that it had yet to see what Chicagoâ€™s south side had to offer. â€śI did everything I could to persuade them that seeing that side of town was unnecessary,â€ť noted Daley. â€śThey insistedâ€¦unfortunately.â€ť
The committee members arrived on Chicagoâ€™s south side in the early afternoon and were on their respective planes by the early evening. â€śWe saw a lot of things,â€ť said one IOC member. â€śReally, too many things. Lots of despair and, well, sadness. I canâ€™t have the entire Olympic community, the world for that matter, frolicking in these streets. 2016 isnâ€™t happening in Chicago, thatâ€™s for sure.â€ť
Mayor Daley plans to annex the south side of Chicago to the state of Indiana. Hopefully, says Daley, Chicago will be half as big and then that half will get to host the Olympics. Legislation is currently underway.