Monday, September 28, 2009

Obama Travels to Copenhagen Oct. 2 to Woo Chicago Olympics

At first Valerie Jarrett was leading the delegation to win the Olympics for the U.S. in 2016. Then Michelle Obama signed up. Now, Obama has decided to go. It will be a one-day trip:
President Barack Obama will fly to Copenhagen this week to attend a vote on where the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held, Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president said.

Obama will attend the final presentation on Oct. 2 before the International Olympic Committee for the bid by his adopted hometown of Chicago, Jarrett said in an interview.

“It strengthens our bid,” she said. “There is nothing like the president expressing what it means to him.”

Chicago is competing against Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. Organizers of the U.S. bid had been lobbying the White House to have Obama make the final pitch, although the president had previously said he was too busy with the battle in Congress over health-care legislation.

“President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama symbolize the hope, opportunity and inspiration that makes Chicago great, and we are honored to have two of our city’s most accomplished residents leading our delegation in Copenhagen,” Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said in a statement issued by the Chicago 2016 bid committee. Bloomberg
Oprah's going too:
Obama’s decision to make the trip will add star power to a U.S. delegation that already includes the first lady, television host Oprah Winfrey, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
See Copenhagen's International Olympic Committee program here. White House announcement via Politico:
"President Obama will join First Lady Michelle Obama, who will be leading the United States delegation to Copenhagen. Mrs. Obama will arrive in Copenhagen on Wednesday, September 30, along with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and head of the White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport.

"President Obama will depart Washington on the evening of Thursday, October 1 and arrive in Copenhagen on the morning of October 2 local time, just prior to Chicago’s presentation to the voting members of the IOC. He will arrive back in Washington on Friday afternoon.

"President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will both make presentations to the IOC during Friday’s session. They will discuss why Chicago is best to host the 2016 Summer Games, and how the United States is eager to bring the world together to celebrate the ideals of the Olympic movement.

"While in Denmark, the President and First Lady will meet with Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness, the Prince Consort. President Obama will also meet with Prime Minister Lars L√łkke Rasmussen."