04/13/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Chicago 2016 Picks New Olympics Bid Slogan

The committee organizing Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid has picked a new slogan in anticipation of a visit from International Olympic Committee evaluation team in early April.

"Let Friendship Shine" will be the new theme of the city's bid, replacing the "Stir the Soul" tagline.

Though the bid committee doesn't acknowledge it in its release (see below), translation problems were apparently the reason for the switch, according to the AP:

Difficulties in translation have Chicago 2016 officials changing the city's Olympic slogan to "Let Friendship Shine" from "Stir the Soul."

Valerie Barker Waller is director of marketing for Chicago 2016. Waller says in some languages, "Stir the Soul" translated to "Stir Your Insides."

Waller says that's "not what we intended it to be." She says the new slogan reflects friendships athletes make as they participate in the Olympics.

The Chicago 2016 release:

CHICAGO (March 13, 2009)--Chicago 2016 reaffirmed its commitment to welcome the world to Chicago in friendship in 2016 with the announcement of a new tagline that furthers its vision for the Games. The new tagline, "Let Friendship Shine" is the sentiment that the bid committee looks to reach out to the world with as it prepares its bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is in the spirit of friendship that Chicago 2016 will welcome the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Evaluation Commission to Chicago in April.

"Chicago is known for its warm and welcoming people and its hospitable nature, and we hope to demonstrate this to the Evaluation Commission next month," said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. "We know that many friendships are formed between athletes and fans of different nations because of the Games. The historic friendship of Olympians Jesse Owens and Luz Long is just one example of a friendship formed because of the Games."

Chicago 2016 told the story of Owens last month when the Olympian's grandson hand-delivered Chicago's Candidature File to the IOC. Owens and Long met during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany, when Long gave Owens some advice on his long jump that ultimately led him to one of his gold medals. As part of its message of friendship, the bid committee will continue to tell the many stories of friendship born out of the Olympic Movement.

Chicago 2016 also plans to reinforce friendship in a number of programmatic elements, including ways that allow friendships to be built both off- and on-line. Already, friends from around the world can connect with Chicago 2016 through the bid's Facebook fan page, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. The tagline will be an underlying message in other bid-related materials and will appear in a visible way across the city in marketing and advertising materials. The bid will even celebrate National Friendship Day on August 2, which is two months before the 2016 Host City is named in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"Striving to be an Olympian or Paralympian is an outstanding goal and achievement that takes years of hard work, dedication and commitment. Not everyone can be an Olympian, but anyone can be a friend and hopefully become a friend of Chicago 2016 and the Olympic Movement," said Ryan.


About Chicago 2016
Chicago 2016 is a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to seek the privilege of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago. The committee's board consists of business, civic, athletic, cultural and academic leaders representing Chicago and the surrounding Midwest region. Patrick Ryan serves as the organization's chairman and CEO.