Monday, April 13, 2009

Is Chicago the Most Diverse 2016 Olympic Candidate City?

Much has been said about Chicago's Olympic Bid, but one point we recently read about that hasn't gotten much attention is the fact that Chicago has a pretty diverse groups of citizens. They might not be very integrated (ie every group tends to have their own neighborhood), but it's an interesting point that seems to differentiate Chicago from the other bid cities. recently touched on the topic:

"From athletes' point of view, when you come to a place where people speak your language ... it's very convenient for the athlete," Comaneci said before talking with IOC commissioners. She noted Chicago is home to many Romanians, making it more comfortable for her and her mother when she visits.

Organizers hammered on that message time and again. Mayor Richard Daley spoke of a city built and rebuilt by immigrants. Ryan noted the dozens of languages spoken in Chicago. On the IOC's final day here, the IOC viewed a video about the city's ethnic diversity in which the narrator said every Olympic team that comes to Chicago "will feel like the home team."

And Obama, in his video, painted Chicago as "a city where races, religions and nationalities all live and work and play and reach for the American dream that brought them here."

If it sounds like overkill, Frazier said it was necessary.

"Chicago's biggest advantage is it is the only one of the bid cities that the Poles should be cheering for, the Romanians should be cheering for," he said. "Show me a Greektown in Tokyo."

Although we don't know if it's Chicago's biggest advantage, it is interesting and if true is a powerful thing. We tried to find some stats on diverse international cities, but couldn't find much credible information.

Out of the four 2016 candidate cities (Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio) which do you think is the most diverse?


Anonymous said...

I think this will play a factor for sure...but all depends how they look at it as to whether it's a good or bad factor!

Sloopy said...


Why do you think this would be a bad factor? The only negative thing I could see is that our 'diverse' city is relatively segregated.

Regardless, that's shouldn't be an issue. The bid team is pushing the idea that every country would have Chicago residents who would be rooting for them. During the World Boxing Championship last year (in Chicago) many competitors stated that they were happy to see natives of their countries that live in Chicago come and cheer them on.