Odds and ends from what was the Chicago Olympic beat:
- Chicago raised a little more than $75 million to fund its failed Olympic bid. The organizing committee spent $59 million. The leftover money is going to fund sports programs for city kids.
- This week an International Olympic Committee team finished its first formal visit to Rio since the city beat Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Games. It's conclusion: 'Work harder.' Since winning, Rio has proposed moving some venues and revising budget figures. Now comes concern from the IOC that the city may be falling behind in the still early building process. "It had laid a solid foundation, but the scope of the Olympic project is immense, and it is important no time is wasted," said Nawal el Moutawakel of the IOC's coordination commission.
- London continues to stun the marketing world with another stupefying branding decision. The London 2012 logo looks like shattered glass and the animated version reportedly induced seizures.
This week the mascots of the London Games were revealed. Their names are Wenlock and Mandeville. Pokemon meet mutant:
You can see them dance and hear from the guy who admits to designing the coo ky characters here:
Mother's Day is no longer a time to celebrate for Annette Nance-Holt. Neither is her birthday, which falls a few days away. In fact, the entire month of May is difficult for this mother. Her son Blair was shot and killed three days before Mother's Day 2007.
By all accounts Blair was a remarkable young man who died protecting a friend from a bullet fired at a CTA bus. Blair's father is a Chicago Police officer, his mother a Chicago Fire Department captain. Anyone who thinks "it'll never happen to my son," doesn't know Ron and Annette Holt.
In the three years that followed Blair's murder the Holt's have become tireless crusaders against the crime that grips many Chicago neighborhoods. They give of their time and their hearts and stand in front of the cameras, re-sharing their pain each time they are asked in the hope their son's story will deter future killings.
That's where we found Annette Nance-Holt this year, on the eve of Mother's Day. She was at St. Sabina church promoting the city's annual gun turn-in day where citizens are paid cash to hand in their weapons. "Getting another gun off the street might save another life," Mrs. Nance-Holt said. "Perhaps it will spare another mother the grief I suffer every day not having my son."
It's ashame it takes the promise of $100 on an untraceable MasterCard to get people to do the right thing, especially on Mother's Day weekend.
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