Former Olympian Tom Schuler gave his support to nearby Walworth County's bid to host Olympic cycling events if Chicago is awarded the 2016 Summer Games. Chicago is up against other candidates including Rio de Janeiro, London, Tokyo, Madrid, and Prague. A selection will not be made until late 2008 or early 2009.
"Between Champaign, Illinois, the Fox Cities and Madison, there is no finer cycling than right here in Walworth County," said Schuler to the county board Tuesday according to the Gazette Extra. "That goes for mountain biking in the Kettle Moraine and road biking in Walworth County."
Schuler, who represented the US in the Olympics in 1980 for road events, was one of about 15 people supporting the county's effort to host cycling and possibly also rowing and equestrian events. The county board gave the effort unanimous support.
Fred Burkardt, development alliance executive director, predicted Olympic mountain biking at the Kettle Moraine's John Muir trails or at Alpine Valley Resort could bring in 40,000 to 50,000 people with a US$116 million economic impact.
"What Chicago lacks is our gain. We have rolling terrain in the county, whether it's the Kettle Moraine (for mountain biking), or the county roads and highways that are perfect (for road biking)," Kevin Brunner, Whitewater city manager and development alliance vice president. "If you go south of here, I don't know if you noticed, but it's kind of flat."
Kettle Moraine has hosted many mountain bike events including the US Collegiate Nationals.