"Here I am, nine years away from getting to land at O'Hare, jump on I-90 from the airport and drive down the Kennedy, then the Dan Ryan and, 2 1/2 hours later, be right there at the new, plush, Olympic athlete chateaus at the lakefront. Free sailboats for all shotputters.
I will not care at that stage that the construction bill for all this will be running neck and neck with the national debt, that somehow all this will work its way into my pocketbook in the form of federal taxes, even if I am never told exactly how...
...In retrospect, L.A.'s bid committee really blew it. They missed an obvious point. Los Angeles has water too. Matter of fact, it is bigger than Chicago's water. It is called an ocean.
All the L.A. group had to do was put up a Ritz-Carlton in Malibu for the IOC and a Four Seasons in Santa Monica for the athletes, and the bid was L.A.'s. That still would have cost several million less than Chicago will spend on that George Halas Weight Training Center and Cocktail Lounge.
In the end, it is sad to see how badly the L.A. bid committee misread things. It operated under the misguided premise that there should be a bottom line on these Olympic ventures. So Peter Ueberroth made the Olympic movement $225 million in 1984 and may have saved future Games for Mr. and Mrs. Aristocrat. So what?
Remember, Montreal showed no fiscal restraint in the 1976 Games and got its debt paid off a year or so ago. Call it a municipal mortgage. Thirty years and out. No worries.
This was about spirit, enthusiasm and a fresh new face. For once, our Olympic leaders had the vision to appreciate a new place and the guts to give it a chance to show what it could do.
Kind of like they did with Atlanta."