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Obama pushes for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid

Source : AP
Last Updated: Fri, Sep 11, 2009 19:36 hrs
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Aiming to boost his hometown of Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, President Barack Obama is bringing Olympic athletes to the White House next week and sending a senior adviser to Denmark to lobby Olympic officials, White House officials said Wednesday.

Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama's top advisers, will attend an Oct. 2 International Olympic Committee meeting in Copenhagen, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. The IOC is announcing after that meeting the host city for the 2016 summer games.

Chicago is competing with Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo, and winning the bid for his hometown is a major priority for Obama. Jarrett also hails from Chicago and has been active in the city's years of efforts to host the games.

In July, Obama taped an appeal to support Chicago's bid when International Olympic officials met in Abuja, Nigeria. In June the White House announced creation of a new White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport, which is hosting next week's event.

The White House has not said if Obama will also travel to Denmark.

But Wednesday, Obama is hosting an event jointly at the White House with Chicago 2016, the city's bid committee, said a White House official. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

The Olympic athletes will first visit local schools and then join Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the White House in the afternoon.

The event is aimed both at showcasing U.S. talent and highlighting the administration's commitment to giving children the tools to succeed in life, including access to sports and exercise, the official said.

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Associated Press writer Julie Pace contributed to this report.




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