POSTED: September 12th 2009

Chicago 2016 and USOC pleased to have Michelle Obama

Patrick Ryan: Chicago bid leader / lake images
Patrick Ryan: Chicago bid leader / lake images

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: Both Chicago bid ceo Patrick Ryan and USOC Chairman Larry Probst have issued statements confirming the presence of First Lady Michelle Obama to support the bid for the 2016 vote in Copenhagen. The First Lady's travel schedule has yet to be confirmed if she will be arriving in town to meet IOC members.

President Obama has also called IOC president Jacques Rogge to excuse himself from attending the vote on October 2 because of the fight to pass health insurance reform in the United States but he reiterated his continued support for Chicago 2016 and the Olympic movement.

Ryan said:“We are very pleased to confirm that First Lady Michelle Obama will be a lead member of the Official Chicago 2016 delegation for theInternational Olympic Committee Session in Copenhagen.  We’re honored and grateful to have the First Lady as part of our Delegation, and appreciate this unprecedented commitment and expression of support from the White House.
Shared values

“As a lifelong Chicagoan, the First Lady is uniquely qualified to share with members of the IOC the passion and enthusiasm of our city for sport and the Olympic and Paralympic movement.  Just as important, the First Lady will be able to share how the values for which the Olympic and Paralympic movement stands – hope, opportunity and the promise of creating a better, more peaceful world for the next generation – align perfectly with the values of President Barack Obama, his administration, and our entire country.
“Additionally, as previously announced, the President’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, will also be a member of our delegation and we’re grateful for her continued support.
“There is no greater supporter of Chicago and its bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games than President Obama – and his support is recognized worldwide. The President has appeared in numerous videos and public rallies on behalf of Chicago 2016, and early in his administration created the new White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Sport.  Ms Jarrett, who is a former Vice Chair of the Chicago 2016 board of directors, directs this important office.
“From every level of government – city, county, state and federal – Chicago 2016 enjoys unprecedented support.  Just this week, the Chicago City Council provided a unanimous 49-0 vote to authorize the Mayor of Chicago to sign the International Olympic Committee Host City Contract and provide a full financial guarantee for the Games. 

"Further, the federal government has pledged to provide security for the Games, should Chicago be so honored.  This level of support is unprecedented for a United States bid – and the IOC Membership is well aware of this.”

Happy USOC duo

USOC Chairman Larry Probst and acting ceo Stephanie Streeter said:"The United States Olympic Committee and the entire U.S. Olympic Family are extremely grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for the extraordinary support they have provided and continue to provide to the Chicago 2016 bid and to Olympic, Paralympic and youth sport in America.

"In conveying the federal government's complete support of the bid, President Obama has asked the First Lady to join the delegation in Copenhagen next month for the IOC vote on October 2.

"Since President Obama has assumed office, the USOC and the bid have felt nothing but complete support. Sending the First Lady to Copenhagen is an unprecedented statement of support.

"The First Lady, as a Chicago native, is a tremendous ambassador for the Chicago 2016 bid. She is a representative of Chicago and of America, of the first family and of their support for the bid. The USOC is thrilled to have her representing the bid in Copenhagen next month, conveying the importance of the Olympic Movement to our entire country, and how much support and passion there is nationwide to bring the Games back to America.

"We are proud the White House is a part of our delegation and look forward to working with the First Lady as well as President Obama's Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett in the coming weeks."

The vote to host the 2016 summer Olympic Games will be held at the IOC session in Copenhagen on October 2. Chicago is running against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Keywords · Chicago 2016 · IOC · USOC · Patrick Ryan · Michelle Obama · Larry Probst · Stephanie Streeter

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