September 29, 2009

President Obama to travel to Copenhagen

So the President has changed his mind and will now be going to Copenhagen to help Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Games. The question here is, what if he sees support waning for Chicago? I have to believe that Rio might have the upper hand right now - it has tremendous support from its residents and many world leaders. Plus, the lure of bringing the Olympics to South America for the first time is huge.

If he sees Chicago losing support and realizes it's not going to happen, will he throw his support behind Ely and try to bring the Games to the US regardless of location? Or will he fight to the end, even if it's a losing cause?

As I recall, Minnesota went pretty strongly for Obama in 2008. He might want to keep that in mind. Of course, having our Governor out there speaking ill of the President doesn't help our cause, but Pawlenty has never come out strongly in support of our effort and he clearly isn't a Range guy, so we have to hope Obama looks past that and can buy into our vision of the first in-ground Olympic Stadium, the first Olympic Village Tent City and all that when his beloved Chicago starts to bite the dust.

The decision comes early Friday morning - this week! - keep your fingers crossed.

In the Ely area this Thursday? Come help us celebrate!

We're rallying for our Olympic bid this Thursday in Whiteside Park. Here are the official details from the Olympic Organizing Committee:

Residents of Ely, MN and city officials are expected to turn out in force for a city- wide rally to cheer for their unofficial bid for the 2016 Summer Games at Whiteside Park on Thursday, October 1, from 4-6 PM. This community rally supporting Ely’s bid is sponsored jointly by the Ely Chamber of Commerce and the City of Ely and will center at the Park’s Pavilion area. The official selection of the site for the 2016 Olympics will be announced from Copenhagen, Denmark the morning of Friday, October 2.

The Summer Games Mascot, Buzzy the Mosquito, chosen in a contest sponsored by Ely Greenstone Public Art, will make a first public appearance. Come join in the fun and excitement that has been building since April 1 for Ely’s unusual Summer Games campaign. In the event of rain, the event will be cancelled; snow ill only slow things down a bit. Ely will be celebrating “Sport” and all athletes, young and old. Please wear 2016 “gear” or Olympic or athletic team uniforms or clothing in the spirit of the Games.

Music will fill the park during the rally, starting with The Ely Memorial High School Band marching into the park in their new uniforms. The newly formed “Largemouth Brass” group will perform rousing rally music and the Ely Pipes and Drums will add an international flair to the lighting of Ely’s symbolic torch. Rob Mattson, guitar and bass, John Ely, steel guitar, dobro & bass, and Bill Bulinski, guitar, well-known local and national performers, have formed 5-Oh!, and will perform from 5-6 PM. They provide a variety of background instrumental music, including pop, country, swing, surf and Hawaiian music, to name a few.

Ely High School Dance Team, directed by Nichole Boitz, will demonstrate new fall routines. Hamburger and hot dog sales, with head chef Frank Ivancich, benefit the Senior Class Washington, D.C. trip. Kids’ activities, sponsored by the Washington Elementary PTO and Ely Young Life, include the “Moon Walk”. The Ely Track Club will have water for sale and Piragis Northwoods Company and Grand Ely Lodge will provide prizes. The Ely DQ Grill and Chill will offer coupons for a free Twist Dilly Bar to kids in games or wearing team or Olympic gear and Ely Northland Market and Zup’s will provide fixins’ for free S’mores for kids at 5:00 PM following the torch lighting.

Other community organizations and non-profits are invited to participate with activities, games or booths and share the spirit of the Games. Please call Muffin Nelson at 235-1912 or Barbara Lyke at 365-6565 if you’d like to be a part of this celebration.

We hope to see you there!

September 15, 2009

Chicago residents not on board with bid. It's Ely's time.

Only 47% of Chicagoans support the city’s Olympic bid. That’s what a recent Chicago Tribune poll revealed earlier this month. That could spell trouble for Chicago’s chances in Copenhagen on October 2 when IOC officials are expected to announce their choice for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

While that may spell bad news for Chicago, it might be just the opening Ely needs to sneak in the back door and capture the crown. We don’t need a formal poll to tell us what we already know: Ely and all its residents are ready to step up and take this on. We’ve got architects lined up for the major projects. We’ve got food caterers salivating at the chance to introduce Iron Range delicacies to the rest of the world. We’ve even found enough ping pong tables and paddles in peoples’ basements to provide our spectacular table tennis facility (admittedly, still on the drawing board) with all the equipment the world’s top players could ever need – not to mention a few Ely teens who think they could push some of these heavily trained Chinese players to the limit. (Have they ever played Polish Ping Pong rules, by the way?)

Yes folks, while the US would totally benefit by having the 2016 Summer Games come to Chicago – and if it happens, we’d love to host a couple of the events (dock dogs and competitive fishing are still at the top of our list) – up here in Ely we think our dark-horse status just got a bit brighter.

What is it with those Chicago residents anyway? Where’s their civic pride? That’s one thing we don’t lack up here on the edge of the Boundary Waters!

September 1, 2009

Let’s Send Tokyo Packing

A recent study done by German consulting agency Sport+Markt concluded that Tokyo 2016 has the least amount of public support.  Only 72 percent of the citizens questioned felt that Tokyo’s bid was “good or very good”.  Leading the pack was Madrid, with 93 percent of Spaniards backing the bid.  Chicago and Rio were closely behind. 

Now we know you’re probably thinking, but what about Ely?  Why was their public support not measured?  The answer is simple.  It would look terrible for little ‘ol Ely to have more public support than one of the big dogs.  The IOC would be faced with answering the dreaded question they have been avoiding for so long, “Why NOT pay attention to Ely 2016?”

If we were the IOC we would toss out Tokyo and seriously consider Ely. Then again we may be slightly biased.