President Obama deeply disappointed his hometown Chicago when he announced that he would not go to Copenhagen next month to personally make the city’s case for hosting the 2016 Olympics, so he and first lady Michelle Obama, who is going in his stead, on Wednesday brought the Olympics to the White House instead.
Former Olympic and paralympic athletes, Chicago officials and local schoolchildren attended the event on the White House lawn, where the president and first lady both spoke and watched judo and gymnastic demonstrations. The president even joined in with some of the athletes, earning a gentle jibe from his wife.
“You should have seen the president in there fencing,” she said. “It was pathetic, but he passed the baton really well.”
Obama said he was too busy working on healthcare reform to travel to Copenhagen on Oct. 2 to lobby the International Olympic Committee, but offered an excuse.
“The good news is I’m sending a more compelling superstar to represent the city and country we love, and that is our first lady, Michelle Obama,” he said.