POSTED: June 17th 2009
Chicago 2016: Obama launches Olympics Office
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
LAUSANNE: President Barak Obama gives the Chicago 2016 bid presentations an extra boost by announcing on the eve of key presentations to IOC members to open a dedicated office for the Olympics, Paralympics and sport for youth.
The White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport will be created to enhance the American Olympic Movement.
Patrick Ryan, Chicago 2016 chairman, said, “This is a great development for the Olympic & Paralympic Movement in our country. President Obama has shown that he is an ardent supporter of the Olympic values and the impact that sport can have on young children."
"The establishment of this office will help further promote and develop of Olympic and Paralympic sport to the youth of our country.”
The IOC membership is gathering at the Olympic Museum today to listen to the bid presentations of the four cities campaigning to host the 2016 summer Olympic Games. A crucial key event as this is the last time so many of the voting members will be in one place prior to the vote in Copenhagen in October.
Obama said, “It is an important goal of my administration to give our nation’s children every possible tool they need to grow, learn and succeed in life. A key part of this is increasing access to healthy, constructive activities like sports for our nation’s children.”
“Too many American kids – particularly those in urban areas – have no access to organized sporting activities. Sports are an important way to instill values, judgment and teamwork in our nation’s kids, and this new office reflects our commitment to giving all our children a chance to thrive.”
“As the International Olympic Committee moves forward with their selection process we hope that this new office can serve as a model for youth involvement worldwide.”
The new organization is destined to recommend federal policies and programs to the President with a target on urban areas. They plan to encourage youth sports, educational and cultural events and get Olympians and Paralympians involved.
This office will also work in conjunction with the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to work locally with state and local government officials, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. They plan to work together with the US Olympic Committee to increase national federations and opportunities to get youth involved with sports.
USOC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Stephanie Streeter, said, "This is a great day for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement in the United States. President Obama and Ms. Jarrett have shown great leadership and vision today in embracing the Olympic Movement by establishing this office in the White House."
"We embrace and welcome this high-level White House support and advocacy for the USOC, Chicago 2016 and the goals of the Olympic Movement. The USOC looks forward to working with the Obama Administration in collaboration with our National Governing Bodies, Multisport Organizations and other key partners to promote youth participation in Olympic and Paralympic sport."
" Together we will create new opportunities for America's youth and instill the values inherent in the Olympic Movement," she concluded.
It will act as a liaison office working with any organizing committee should the Chicago 2016 bid be selected. Chicago is bidding against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo for the chance to host the summer Games.
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Laura Walden ()
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