Dragomir Cioroslan member of Chicago Olympic bid delegation
“It’s hard for me to be unbiased about this,” said Bart Conner, a Chicago native and double gold medalist in gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics. “When you look at the plan and the spectacular city and the legacy plan and the convenience for the athletes against the backdrop of the city, on lots of levels, Chicago gets it and understands what the Olympics is about.”
Star power could be key in a decision that is expected to come down to a couple of votes, and Chicago will have no shortage of it. First lady Michelle Obama leads the delegation, and she’ll be joined by 26 Olympians and Paralympians. President Barack Obama is still trying to decide whether to appear personally on behalf of his adopted hometown.
Johnson had the defining performance the last time the Summer Games were in the United States. Wearing bright gold shoes, he became the first – and so far, only – man to win the 200 and 400 meters at the same Olympics.
Comaneci’s string of seven perfect 10s at the Montreal Games captivated the world, and the Romanian teenager appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time.
Liukin is the reigning Olympic champion, joining Mary Lou Retton and Carly Patterson as the only American women to win the all-around title. Joyner-Kersee, an Illinois native, is among the greatest track and field athletes ever, winning three golds in the heptathlon and long jump.
Joining them are fellow gold medalists Michael Conley, the 1992 triple jump champion who grew up near the planned Olympic stadium in Washington Park; Bryan Clay (decathlon); Brandi Chastain (soccer); Bob Ctvrtlik (volleyball); Donna de Varona and Gary Hall Jr. (swimming); Ron Freeman (track and field); Edwin Moses (hurdles); Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball); and April Holmes and Linda Mastandrea (Paralympic track and field);
Willie Banks and Connie Moore (track and field); Bob Berland (judo); Dragomir Cioroslan (weightlifting); Anita De Frantz (rowing); David Diaz (boxing); Paul Moran (wheelchair tennis and sitting volleyball); Mike Plant (speedskating); Bill Scherr (wrestling); and Diane Simpson (rhythmic gymnastics) also will be part of the delegation.