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Chicago 2016 chairman gives Beijing Olympics A-plus
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19:22, August 24, 2008

Patrick G. Ryan, chairman of the Chicago group bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympics, has given an A-plus for the "well-organized" Beijing Games.

"The Beijing Olympic Games have been extremely well-organized," the American told Xinhua. "The service to the Olympic family and all visitors has been outstanding. I give them an A-plus."

Transportation during the Olympics is one of the major concern of Ryan, who is here with delegation of more than 10 people. He rode the local subway to test the Beijing transport network for himself.

"Beijing is a large city with a very large population. But because of the discipline of the public, it is easy to get around Beijing."

He called the subway "outstanding and well-organized" and said he would adopt the idea of Olympic-only travel lanes in his city if its bid was successful.

During his visit, he saw about 20-odd events, such as field hockey, boxing, swimming, football and his personal favorite basketball.

Ryan also met many volunteers and said they were the "faces" of Olympics as they made the first impression.

The smiles on the young people's faces impressed him.

"Their attitude is positive and they want to be helpful." He said China had taught him to employ "many many" volunteers.

Ryan said China had proven itself by winning 50 gold medals. Chinese people should be proud of themselves.

"The Chinese audience are good at sports. They cheer for the Chinese team and also cheer enthusiastically for other teams. I like the 'One world, one dream' motto. We come together for the sports."

Ryan, the founder of the Aon Group, an insurance brokerage giant, was chosen to lead the city's Olympic bid by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley for his leadership in local business, civic activities and the sporting community.

Chicago is no newcomer to Olympic bids. In 1901, the city was unanimously chosen by the International Olympic Committee to stage the 1904 Summer Olympics. The third Olympiad, however, was moved to St. Louis to coincide with the 1904 World's Fair.

The city also bid for the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics, but without success. Its bid for the 2016 Games was launched in May 2007.

America's third largest city has announced a 500 million U.S. dollars insurance policy against cost overruns and revenue shortfalls.

Also bidding to host the 2016 Games are Madrid, Spain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Tokyo, Japan.

Source: Xinhua

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