Obama Heads Delegation for 2016 Olympic Bid

September 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
President Obama is set to become the first sitting president to personally lobby for an Olympic bid, and he's taking some heavy hitters with him. Members of Chicago's Olympic delegation left Monday night for Denmark. If Chicago isn't home to the Olympic games in 2016, it will be hard to blame President Obama. Despite a full agenda at home, the president will fly to Copenhagen, joining First Lady and Chicago-native Michelle Obama.

"Their appeals will be different. The first lady's will be very personal. I think the president's will be both personal and also speaking about how important this is to our country," said White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett.

He'll be the first sitting president to personally lobby the International Olympic Committee. Joining the extraordinary lineup: Chicago's other best-known export Oprah Winfrey.

"If you've got President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey, that is the murderer's row of Olympic selling," said USA Today Sports Columnist Christine Brennan.

Already en route is a Who's Who of Olympic medalists who hope Chicago's modest bid will bring home the gold when the winner's announced on Friday.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016 Olympic Bids:
Chicago: $4.8 billion
Tokyo: $5.9 billion
Madrid: $6.1 billion
Rio De Janeiro $13.9 billion
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It's nice that we have this shining star joining us. But at the end of the day, Chicago still has to win it on the merits of the bid," said Olympic Champion Bart Conner.

The president faces high-profile challengers. The heads of state of the other three finalists, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo, will ALL be there as well.

Mitt Romney, who was the Chairman of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, said: "The real embarrassment would be for him not to go to Copenhagen and for the games to be awarded to another nation."

At Friday's vote, unlike the Olympic Games themselves, there's no award for second place.

President Obama might have been swayed by precedent. When London beat Paris to host the 2012 games, the British Prime Minister flew to Singapore for the final pitch. The French president did not.

      MORE NATIONAL NEWS | TWEET@ABC30 | FREE ABC30 WIDGET
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
Breaking News E-Mail Alerts | Text Message Alerts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More News on abc30.com
Local | California/State | Weather | Entertainment | Business | Politics | Sports | Health Watch | Consumer Watch | Mr. Food |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments