POSTED: September 11th 2009

Michelle Obama to compete for the 2016 rings in Copenhagen

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

WASHINGTON: President Barak Obama has informed Chicago Mayor Daley that it is likely he will not be able to attend the vote for the 2016 host city but he will be sending First Lady Michelle Obama. The passing of the baton to the First Lady will now put her on the front line to bring home the coveted Olympic rings to America.

With Chicago’s hopes pinned on her back one might imagine she never would have seen herself competing for the most sought after and lucrative of Olympic honors: hosting the Olympic Games. Campaigning the IOC members is also a little different to American politics.

As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times the President will likely be detained at home to pursue legislation of national health care reforms. He has left the door open depending on where the health care situation is at the time of the vote.

Olympic office

The President has been an avid supporter of the Chicago 2016 bid and has thrown his weight behind the bid creating a new Olympic office and sending video messages to key IOC meetings. But mounting controversy over health care reforms in America have taken precedence.

Much emphasis in Olympic circles has also been on the persuasive “Obama effect” to seal the deal for the Chicago bid with the attendance at the vote of the charismatic new leader.

Now the spotlight and the pressure will fall on the First Lady as she will find herself in the real arena for the rings with Brazilian President Lula, Tokyo’s newly-elected Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Crown Prince Naruhito and Spanish King Juan Carlos.

The First Lady will join Valerie Jarrett, in charge of the President’s office for Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport, who is also attending the meeting to support the Chicago bid. The final vote will take place on October 2 in Copenhagen at the IOC session and congress.

Keywords · Michelle Obama · Chicago 2016 · IOC

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