A letter from the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., in Chicago Tribune's Voice of the People Online Exclusives
September 12, 2008
Anyone skeptical of what the Olympics can do for Chicago saw a glimpse of just how much excitement and energy Olympians generate. Witness the stir caused by 175 of them who visited Millennium Park and the Oprah Winfrey show. It was electric.
Chicagoans flocked to see these extraordinary athletes, who have inspired our next generation of Olympians to be the best, and perhaps motivated a generation of couch potatoes to play some volleyball in the backyard.
Did you know that many of our country's Olympians also are college athletes who spread the Olympic spirit and dedication to university campuses around the country? But that's not all; even some of the international athletes compete for American college athletic teams, not only sharing their talent, but serving as international ambassadors whose presence on college campuses enhance cross-cultural understanding and foster positive relationships. Indeed, DePaul is proud of its 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist Cat Osterman, an assistant softball coach who also earned a gold pitching in Athens in 2004.
With a little luck, when 2016 rolls around, more than 10,000 young people from around the world will descend upon Chicago to showcase the raw talent, world-class sportsmanship and exhilarating success that comes with a focused goal and years of hard work. The opportunity will enable Chicago to present its rich culture and history and stunning art and architecture to the world, putting our city firmly on the international stage it deserves. Chicago's Olympic Committee has the focus necessary and is working hard to bring home the gold.
Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M.
President, DePaul University
Member, Chicago 2016 Committee