Rockford Not Included in Chicago's Olympic Bid

By: Mark Lindner
By: Mark Lindner

Chicago submitted a plan to the U.S. Olympic Committee Friday to host the 2015 Olympic Games. But you won't find Rockford's name in the document.

"They are very aware of the fact that we're interested in supporting them and hope to be one of their sites," says Cynthia Hall, the director of the mayor's office of tourism, culture, and special events.

A report suggests Chicago is intent on keeping the games within their city limits. A course near Fullerton St. has been selected for a whitewater slalom. This means our soccer fields and river will remain dormant.

"We've been talking to them about the fact the river is good for rowing and our soccer fields are extraordinary either for practice of the games themselves," Hall says.

The center of Rockford's participation in the Olympic bid had been the construction of a new whitewater park where the old Ingersoll building currently stands. But even if the Olympics don't come to Rockford, the whitewater park will most likely go up.

"We have some world class people doing those plans and we also need some private investment to make that a possibility," Hall says.

And even if Chicago doesn't decide to use Rockford as an Olympic venue...

"Rockford could certainly be a practice venue for the Olympics if we are not chosen as an actual sports venue," Hall says.

She adds residents shouldn't be discouraged by Rockford not being included on the list. She says plans for the bid are a long way away from being finalized.

She also tells us tonight that Mayor Morrissey plans on contacting bid organizers soon. If you want to show your support for Rockford's inclusion, she encourages you to write a letter of support and send it to the mayor's office.


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