All in all, a pretty good day. I shook hands with an Olympic medal winner. Not just any medal winner, but Bob Berland, silver medalist in judo in the '84 Los Angeles Games -- the first American to win a medal in that sport. He could have thrown me on the floor in a blink of an eye but, of course, he didn't. We exchanged a few civilized pleasantries, and I'm certain he's already forgotten the moment.
These days, he's the president of a printing company in Chicago, but he was also important in the effort to get the US IOC's blessing for the city's bid for the 2016 Games. I was covering a panel discussion about the prospect of Chicago winning the Games, and he was one of the panelists. Besides being a former judo champ, he was also an articulate spokesman for the cause of holding the Olympics here.
I'm for it myself. I've already written a couple of short articles on the subject, so I know enough about it to have some half-baked opinions. Namely that mere economic impact isn't enough to justify the trouble of holding an Olympics, though that is a consideration. Emotional reasons have to factor in. The city should hold the Games because it's one of humanity's great events, and Chicago is one of the great cities of the Earth.