Will the Obama effect win the 2016 Games for Chicago?

September 30, 2009


Michelle Obama arrived in Copenhagen on Wednesday to begin a significant lobbying effort for Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, with her husband expected to join her on the day of Friday’s vote.

The presence of the U.S. president and first lady will give a massive boost to Chicago in its efforts to see off Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro in a secret ballot of International Olympic Committee members in the Danish capital on Friday.

The president will address the IOC members directly and will rub shoulders with them over coffee before breezing out again. The first lady will also address the session after a couple of days spent talking to voting members and trying to persuade them to choose her home town over the other bidders.

So will the Obama effect prove decisive? The latest odds suddenly put Chicago a clear favourite at 8-11 on, in a race that had been seen as too close to call. Certainly, the IOC members were impressed by Tony Blair, the then British prime minister, when he came to talk to them in Singapore four years ago, and he persuaded enough to choose London over favourites Paris.

Do you think the Obamas will swing it for Chicago? And which city do you think most deserves the Games? 

Let us know in the comments.

Kevin Fylan, Copenhagen

PHOTO: U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama gestures as she arrives at Hotel Marriott in Copenhagen, September 30, 2009. REUTERS/Scanpix/Nils Meilvang


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Definetly not! This is the time for South America and USA has already host many games. Brazil now is an emerging market, on the vision of thw world and has now all the tools to receive it.
Rio is a fantastic city, saver then we think and will host this games!

Posted by Peter Crawford | Report as abusive

When President Obama gave his acceptance speech from Millennium Park in Chicago, I couldn’t help but think that event would really help push Chicago into the forefront in the minds of the IOC voters. That night was such a wonderful moment of historic significance. It was a night of peace and celebration, and there were people from every walk of life gathered.

The Olympics in Chicago could recapture that magic. I back the Chicago 2016 bid, and I think Obama’s presence with the IOC could be very important. He represents a new era of internationalism in the United States, and it would be perfect if his city hosted the greatest international event in the world.

Posted by Robb | Report as abusive

Rio deserves it most, but Chicago’s probably going to be the one to win it.

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

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I love the obama’s I think there doing a great job and they should keep up the good work haters step back.

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