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Chicago tries to make case

March 07, 2007|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

CHICAGO — Last week, it was fortune cookies passed out on the Blue Line by L.A. Olympic bid officials with the fortune saying, "Los Angeles 2016: Where the world comes together."

Here, it was a worker at the taxi stand at O'Hare International Airport, wearing the button pinned on a jacket: Chicago 2016.

Details, big and small, all to promote the respective bids for the 2016 Summer Games during visits by a United States Olympic Committee evaluation team. It was Los Angeles up first, and now it is Chicago's turn in the spotlight as the cities head into the homestretch of the intense campaign to become the U.S. bid city, to be decided April 14.

On Tuesday, the first day of the group's visit to Chicago, the bid committee unveiled a short film with a Chamber-of-Commerce feel blended with up-close-and-personal vignettes.

But it won't be small details, column inches in newspapers or videos -- Chicago aired an endorsement from Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama -- that influence the commission. Instead, it will come from the answers to questions from its members. Chicago bid Chairman Patrick G. Ryan was asked whether he received any "encouraging signs" from the group that Chicago would be the better choice to win votes from the International Olympic Committee when the time comes.

"We never got into any comparison with Los Angeles. And I'm not going to do it now," Ryan said, laughing.

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lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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