Dubuque awaits decision on 2016 Olympic Games - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque awaits decision on 2016 Olympic Games

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- As President Barack Obama puts the power of The White House behind an Olympic bid, people in Dubuque are holding their breath.

The former Illinois Senator was on hand in June when Chicago became a finalist to host the 2016 summer games.  The President plans to be in Copenhagen later this week to lead the windy city's appeal to be a host city.  It's the first time a U.S. President has traveled to be involved in the final vote.

If Chicago were selected for the 2016 games, Dubuque city leaders say it would become like a virtual suburb of Chicago, brining in thousands of extra tourists and even athletes.

For about a year -- dubuque leaders have been working on a plan for if Chicago gets the bid.

Leaders have a report ready to send to the Chicago Olympic Committee if it's picked, highlighting why Dubuque is a great place for athletes to train.

"We've got a wealth of just beautiful facilities that countries could use to train for track and field and different things like that," Keith Rahe with the Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

Another big selling point, especially for training cyclists, is the landscape.

"One of the biggest things would be our topography, our rolling hills," Rahe said.

Athletes from around the world often move near the site of the games a couple years in advance.

"They rent apartments, they rent hotel rooms, stay here, and do the whole gauntlet," Rahe said.

Dubuque has already hosted national sporting events, like an archery tournament where 2008 olympians competed.

"I do think it will help with the countries seeing that we have hosted Olympic type calibur events here and that the community did just a tremendous job, and they'll say, well, they can do it, let's go give them a chance," Rahe said.

Chicago is competing against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo for 2016 summer games.  The International Olympic Committee will choose the host city Friday.

Online Reporter: Jamie Grey
Online Producer: Mike Verlo

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