First Lady Heading to Copenhagen to Help Secure Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Bid

By Lindsey Ellerson

Sep 11, 2009 12:45pm

ABC News has learned that First Lady Michelle Obama is heading to Copenhagen, Denmark, next month to help seal the deal with the International Olympic Committee for Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid.

From October 1 through October 9, the 121st IOC Session & XIII Olympic Congress meets. The King of Spain and the President of Brazil are going as well to try to help bids made by Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, respectively.

There has been pressure on the administration to send the president to help close, though sending a world leader to such a thing is not without some risk, if the bid is rejected.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s pitch to the Olympic Congress in Singapore is said to have helped London in its successful bid for the 2012 games, as was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s trip to see the IOC officials in Guatemala City and convinced them to hold the 2014 games in 2014.

As president, Mr. Obama has delegated the effort to help Chicago with its bid to senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, but last June, then-Sen. Obama appeared at a rally in Chicago where he said, “in 2016, I'll be wrapping up my second term as president. So I can't think of a better way than to be marching into Washington Park … as president of the United States and announcing to the world, 'Let the games begin!’”


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