USA Volleyball's Fingers are Crossed for Chicago

Oct. 01, 2009, 6:13 p.m. (ET)

Chicago 2016 Candidate City LogoB.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 1, 2009) - Anticipation is building within the U.S. Olympic community and around the world as the clock counts down to Friday morning and the International Olympic Committee's vote on which city should host the 2016 Summer Games.

The IOC is meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, where representatives from the four final candidate cities - Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo - continue to lobby the 105 members who will vote by secret ballot (only 97 IOC members vote in the first round as representatives from candidate cities are not eligible to vote. As cities are eliminated, their members can vote. IOC president Jacques Rogge does not vote).

USA Volleyball, along with the other U.S. sport national governing bodies and the U.S. Olympic Committee, have put their support squarely behind Chicago's bid for the Games.

"Chicago's plan for the 2016 Olympic Games is one of the best I have ever seen and I know others intimately involved with the process have told me the same thing," said USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal. "I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have the Summer Games in the United States to raise the visibility of our sport as well as other Olympic sports.

"Chicago has been a great partner for USA Volleyball in putting on international events and we look forward to continuing that relationship."

Three-time Olympian and U.S. Men's National Team captain Tom Hoff (Park Ridge, Ill.), who won a gold medal in Beijing in 2008, emphasized the importance of exposing children to the Olympic Games.

"Growing up in Chicago as a young kid, it was hard for me to get a sense of what it was like to go to the Olympics and be involved in the Olympic movement," Hoff said. "It would be a great thing to bring to the kids and let them get a taste of it."

Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.), a 2004 and 2008 Olympian who won the silver medal in Beijing with the U.S. Women's National Team, has been impressed by Chicago's effort to get the Games.

"I would be ecstatic if Chicago was chosen on Friday," Nnamani said. "The people there are wonderful and kind-hearted. I have worked with some of the people in close proximity to the bid, and I believe they have done a great job in showcasing Chicago."

For Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.), a newcomer to the U.S. Women's National Team, a Chicago Olympics would be extra incentive to try to make the Olympic team that year.

"I would be so excited if we got the 2016 bid in Chicago," Spicer said. "Having the Olympics here (in Chicago) would be truly a dream come true.  It would give me another incentive to strive to be in those games.  Being a native of Chicago, I would be so happy for the world to see the city that I am so proud of."

Each city will make a 45-minute final presentation before the voting begins. Voting continues until one city has achieved a majority. The city with the lowest number of votes is eliminated after every round. Ties in the preliminary rounds are broken with a runoff. A tie between the final two cities would be broken by Rogge and the 15-member IOC executive board.

The final city presentations, the vote and the announcement will be shown live at Those in the Chicago area can watch the decision live in Daley Plaza beginning at 9 a.m. CDT.

Schedule for Friday morning (Oct. 2; All times EDT):

2:45-3:55 a.m. Chicago Presentation
4:25-5:45 a.m. Tokyo Presentation
6:05-7:25 a.m. Rio de Janeiro Presentation
8:45-9:55 a.m. Madrid Presentation
12:30-1 p.m. Announcement of Host City for 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games