I sincerely hope that Chicago wins the bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games. The lead up to the Games and the long-lasting impact on the city and region should be great. And let’s not forget the 17 days of actual competition that celebrates “the best of us.”
No matter who wins the bid, Chicago has already implemented programs that ensure that its citizenry, especially its youth, will have a greater appreciation of the value of sport, fair play, and cooperation. And that is a legacy to be proud of. The organization leading those programs is World Sport Chicago. www.worldsportchicago.org
You can find the full piece talking about the efforts of World Sport Chicago at http://teamusa.org/news/article/16533, with an excerpt below.
World Sport Chicago unites kids with Olympic and Paralympic athletes
by Paul D. Bowker September 30, 2009
As all of Chicago — and the rest of the United States — eagerly awaits word on Friday to find out whether it wins its bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a group called World Sport Chicago has been hard at work bringing Olympians and Paralympians to the city for the past few years.
In partnership with national governing bodies for various sports and sponsors, World Sport Chicago has created a series of innovative programs that have allowed thousands of inner-city youth to get up close and personal with Olympic athletes in a way they never have before.
So whether Chicago wins the 2016 bid on Friday or loses, the city has already been a victor when it comes to the future of sports in the city.
“As a part of the bid, we wanted to make sure we were creating sports programs for kids in the city,” said World Sport Chicago executive director Scott Myers, a 25-year resident of Chicago who is a part of Chicago 2016’s travel team to Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee will vote to determine the host city of the Games.
Magnuson, a two-time Olympic medalist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, was at the Chicago camps along with three Olympic gold medalist swimmers: Matt Grevers and Megan Jendrick and Peter Vanderkaay. The sessions, also a part of Arluck Promotions’ Fitter & Faster Tour, involved the swimmers talking not only about their sport, but also about young people setting goals for themselves.
“We loved working with the kids,’’ Magnuson said. “I feel like I really relate to these kids. There are always one or two that really get excited at your story. I always look for that.”
“She has seen it first-hand,” said Myers, adding that many of the Olympians or Paralympians might even be humbled by the impact they have on the thousands of kids who attend World Sport Chicago camps and events.
An intended expansion of the program depends heavily on the 2016 host city. If Chicago wins the bid over Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, World Sport Chicago hopes to expand to 50 cities over the next seven years, Myers said. Already, pilot programs are in the works for six other Midwest cities: Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and St. Louis. A summit was held last week among mayors of those cities to begin the process.
(The article continues at http://teamusa.org/news/article/16533)