Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Thursday he hoped to visit Copenhagen next week to lobby for Tokyo’s 2016 Summer Olympic bid, reports AFP. He said, “I’m getting strong requests from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and sports officials. If the schedule allows me, I want to seriously consider going to Copenhagen”.
He said he has already started lobbying world leaders on Tokyo’s bid by making use of his attendance at the two-day summit in Pittsburgh as well as the UN General Assembly in New York.
He added, “I want to make a decision as quickly as possible”.
Also Thursday the White House said U.S. President Barack Obama may fly to Copenhagen to support Chicago’s 2016 bid. But the White House administration also stressed that no final decision has been made on a presidential visit.
Karl Christian Koch, chairman of the Danish coordination group for the IOC meeting, reportedly said the President’s visit was still at the rumour stage.
Meanwhile WBBM Chicago reports that two “highly placed sources within the Olympic movement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity”, said that President Obama’s participation in Chicago’s final presentation to IOC members would probably be “a game changer in the host city voting”.
According to WBBM, one source said those couple of votes made by undecided IOC members and “face time with the president would go along way to winning them over”. The source reportedly added the dynamics of the voting could be what’s driving Mr. Obama’s changing travel plans because “he now knows his presence in Copenhagen would help win his hometown the gold”.