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Gay Games Chicago Statement on Chicago Selection as U.S. Bid City for 2016 Olympics

Chicago, IL — Chicago organizers of the 2006 Gay Games issued the following statement today following the announcement by the United States Olympic Committee that Chicago had been selected as the U.S. bid city for the 2016 Olympics:

"We extend our hearty congratulations to Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago 2016 Committee Chair Pat Ryan, and the entire Chicago 2016 Committee on the successful presentation to the USOC. We know from experience the commitment and emotion that goes into a bidding process and we thank them for their vision and perseverance."

"Watching the live bid announcement today brought back the memories and emotion of 2 March 2004, the day Chicago learned it had been selected to host the 2006 Gay Games, ironically also over a bid from Los Angeles. Through the cheers and tears, we knew then that Chicagoans of all types would rally around us, culminating in a hugely successful Gay Games. 

"In the next two years, as the Chicago 2016 Committee works to convince the International Olympic Committee that Chicago is the best site for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, we pledge our ongoing support to our great city and the bid effort. We also urge everyone in Chicago's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight-allied community, especially the more than 3,000 Gay Games volunteers, and 2,000 participating Gay Games athletes from Chicago, to lend their unflagging support to Chicago 2016. Let's make sure that Mayor Daley and the world know that our community is behind this effort 100%."

About Gay Games VII
Gay Games VII Sports and Cultural Festival took place 15-22 July 2006 with 11,500 athletes from 70 countries competing in 30 sports. Opening Ceremony 15 July 2006 at Soldier Field and Closing Ceremony was 22 July at Wrigley Field. Hundreds of arts and cultural events took throughout the week with more than 140,000 in attendance. 

Global sponsors of Gay Games VII included Lexiva; Logo; PlanetOut/Gay.com; Sirius Satellite Radio; Walgreens; Centaur Entertainment; Fleishman Hillard International Communications; NBC 5 Chicago; Orbitz; McKnight Kurland Baccelli; Illinois State University; The New York Times; Olivia Cruises & Resorts; Pride Nation Network; Windy City Media Group; Absolut Vodka; American Airlines; Apogee Strategies; Athletico; Chicago Free Press; Chicago Sun-Times; Ernst & Young; GLAAD; Genre; Human Rights Campaign; Lambda Legal Defense; Nike; QTG-Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade; Sydney New Mardi Gras; Mate Magazine; Pink Magazine; QTG (Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade); RCN; and Roosevelt University. Gay Games VII had more than 350 total sponsors. 

About The Gay Games
The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games have been held in San Francisco (1986; 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990; 7,300 participants), New York (1994; 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998; 13,000 participants), and Sydney (2002; 11,000 participants). For more information, visit www.GayGames.org.