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Chicago HOT for 2016 Olympics

At what was basically a pep rally Tuesday for the city's business elite, Mayor Richard M. Daley touted Chicago as the best city for the U.S. bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Daley listed several reasons why Chicago should be chosen, including its position as one of the top economic centers in the world, its ability to handle large crowds, its residents' love of athletic competitions and the natural beauty of the city -- with Lake Michigan providing a backdrop for many of the events. Daley also said the Chicago proposal has the benefit of being compact. All the athletes would be located within 15 minutes of the venues where they would compete, he said.

"The time is ripe for a U.S. city to host the Olympic games. That city should be Chicago," Daley told about 1,600 business leaders gathered in a hotel ballroom. Chicago Olympic committee chairman Patrick Ryan told the group the Olympic Village would cost about $1 billion, but would be privately financed.

Built near Chicago's lakefront, the village could be converted later to mixed-income housing. "I'm confident it will be a hot development," Ryan said, adding that some of the nation's top developers would be asked to bid on the project.

The International Olympic Committee will select the host city in 2009. Madrid, Spain; New Delhi; Prague, Czech Republic; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Rome; and Tokyo are among those to have expressed interest. The Summer Olympics will be in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

From: Chicago rallies for 2016 Olympic bid, 12 12 06 , (AP)

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