Posts Tagged ‘Closing Remarks’

Winter 2009 Unlympics Closing Remarks by AEM (Presented on February 14, 2009)

February 23, 2009

Welcome to the final day of events in the Winter 2009 Unlympiad!

For four weeks, I have been at varying times excited, disgusted, frightened, happy, but most of all honored to work with you all to raise extremely active discussion about Chicago’s Olympic bid for the 2016 Games.

In particular I would like to thank Abby, Matt, Bryce, and Roman of InCUBATE; Liz and Joe of Shameless Karaoke; Aay, our Intellectual Games champion and No Coast sponsor—although this was a coincidence; and Laurie Jo Reynolds, one of the tireless forces behind Tamms Year Ten.

During that time, we’ve made enormous gains.

  • We’ve distributed over 50 medals, and are about to give out more;
  • We’ve seen that sometimes, the way the rules get set up determine the outcome of the game;
  • We’ve helped our neighbors understand the real impact the Olympic Games may have on our city;
  • We’ve successfully rallied media entities to take new polls not conducted by the bid’s sponsors to more accurately determine support for the bid;
  • We’ve made the lack of an open and democratic process in the blazin’ hot trail for the torch a city-wide concern;
  • We’ve laughed, cried, and gone for the gold—or, if we felt like it—the silver or the bronze;
  • And the thing I’m most excited about—and I might get emotional on you here—we’ve connected with hundreds of amazing people throughout the city determined to level the playing field in the contest for our city’s future.

In short, the Winter 2009 Unlympics have been game-changing. Early polls had forecast 88% of Chicagoans in favor of hosting the Games; our own polls showed that number closer to 2%. Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune poll, in which 162,000 people participated, showed that 78% of Chicagoans do not want the games here. You helped bring that information to light.

But there’s still more to do, and to start things off, we’re going to hear a few words from Julien Ball of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, beloved sponsor of the Winter 2009 Unlympics.

Let the Emotional Games begin!