Gov. Jim Doyle testified before the International Olympic Committee Ev-aluation Commission Tues-day to express his support for Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
If the committee selects Chicago, Madison will host the game’s cycling events, with athletes from around the world likely staying in and training at University of Wisconsin facilities, the governor said.
According to UW Housing Director Paul Evans, the university has been working closely with the IOC to address concerns regarding housing for athletes if Chicago is chosen.?
A newly proposed Lakeshore dorm — slated to be complete in 2013 — would likely serve as the athletic housing for any Olympic athletes coming to the city.
“[The IOC has] fairly significant requirements for housing … the new resident hall fits beautifully for that,” Evans said.?
The dorm would feature a cafeteria that would be able to cater to the athletes’ specific nutritional needs, Evans added.?
During his testimony, Doyle provided the commission with inform-ation regarding Madison’s bike trails, highlighting Wisconsin’s reputation as a “great bicycling state.”?
He also outlined economic benefits that would be brought to the state by the games.?
“Our bike trails are usually regarded as the best in the country, we have the highest percentage of bike riders anywhere in the country, we have a great bicycling race culture in the state. … It really is a very good fit,” Doyle said. “That’s why the United States Olympic Committee selected Madison as the site of the bike races.” ?
The governor added the commission was very impressed and satisfied with the course’s scenery and its ability to be televised, as well as the city’s infrastructure and ability to handle tourists.
However, Doyle ack-nowledged some updates would likely have to be made throughout the city before 2016, including the possibility of a high-speed rail line to connect Chicago and Madison.?
According to Rachel Strauch-Nelson, spokes-person for Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, final figures regarding the economic impact the games could have on the city have not been finalized, but the games would likely have a positive impact on the city.?