Obama to fly to Copenhagen in bid for Chicago to host 2016 Olympics

President Obama and Michelle Obama will go to Copenhagen to lobby the IOC to give Chicago the 2016 Summer Olympics.

By , Staff writer

The White House announced this morning that President Obama will be flying to Copenhagen this week to lobby for his hometown of Chicago to be chosen as the venue for the 2016 Olympic Games.

It's down to four finalists now - Chicago, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro – and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will announce the winner on Friday.

Mr. Obama initially said that the push for health care reform would prevent him from making the trip to Denmark, but this is the Olympics, baby. Healthcare, shmealthcare.

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Plus, this is the Windy City we're talking about.

Chi-Town.

Home of "Da Bears," "Da Bulls," and, oh yeah, incubator of Obama's political career.

It will be the first time an American president has attended an IOC vote and lobbied in person for US city to host the Games.

And he may need every ounce of charm and persuasion he can muster to beat out those other world-class cities, especially Rio.

Brazil's increasingly influential President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be in Copenhagen making the same push.

And, as we reported today, Lula's making some good points.

"The United States with summer and winter Olympics has held eight," Lula recently pointed out. "Barcelona has had it. Tokyo has had it. And South America, Latin America has only had one Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968."

And Lula pulled out the fairness card.

"It's not fair that Brazil not be chosen," Lula said recently in one of many such appeals to delegates. "For the others it is just one more Olympics, for us it is a chance to show our self-esteem, to show our competence, and to show that we can do it better than them."

Come Friday, we'll see.

Where would you rather go? Rio? Chi-Town?

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