President Barack Obama said Wednesday at a White House event that he would go to Copenhagen for the bid himself but health care reform has to take precedence. He said, “I would make the case in Copenhagen personally if I weren’t so firmly committed to making real the promise of quality, affordable health care for every American. But 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”.
Obama added, “bringing the Games to the United States isn’t important just to the city, but to the American people”.
Michelle Obama said she looks forward to an opportunity to sell the city of Chicago in Copenhagen. She said, “I cannot think of a better city to host the 2016 Games in my hometown….”.
Obama said, “Chicago is ready, the American people are ready, we want these Games. I am fired up about this. Let the Games begin, right here in the United States of America”.
Meanwhile Chicago 2016 announced that the final 16 days leading up to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) vote will be celebrated across the city and nation.
According to a press release, on different days, unexpected surprises will unfold on the streets of Chicago. There will be opportunities for residents to register their support through “I Back Chicago 2016” push button counters that will pop up in multiple locations. Also, volunteers will be distributing orange commemorative Copenhagen wristbands in the days leading up to the decision, encouraging people to watch the live broadcast on Friday, October 2.
Downtown buildings will shine brightly with lights displaying Chicago 2016 and a countdown to October 2 in the days leading up to the decision.
There will also be ads this week featuring the “Imagine” campaign in newspapers and local magazines, and on billboards and other outdoor spaces. The Chicago 2016 website will change daily, and through a Face Book application, a new online SportFinder tool will match people interested in sport with others that have similar interests – encouraging participation in sport by making it easier for people to find ways to connect.
Patrick G. Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “Chicago is beaming with positive energy and the Olympic spirit and we can’t wait to share it with the world on October 2. We have a lot of exciting plans in store for the next 16 days – don’t be surprised if you see Olympic and Paralympic athletes, as well as Olympic hopefuls, popping up in unexpected places around town”.