President Barack Obama’s two-minute video message, which was taped at the White House, was shown during Chicago 2016’s presentation Tuesday to the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa in Abuja, Nigeria.
Obama said, “from the beginning I have fully supported Chicago’s dream of hosting the 2016 Games. If Chicago is selected for this honour we will ensure that the Olympics and Paralympic Games are a key priority for our nation.
“You can count on our government to work as a committed partner in Chicago’s quest to host a great and historic Games and strengthen the Olympic movement worldwide”.
He added, “while you and I live in different parts of the world, we share a common bond, a bond rooted in our shared love of sport and our appreciation for the values it teaches, particularly to our young people – teamwork, dedication, courage and honour.
“As President, I see the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games as an opportunity for America to reach out and renew our bonds of friendship around the world – to welcome the world to our shores with open arms. And I very much hope we will have that chance to extend that hand of Olympic friendship to all of you in Africa”.
Chicago 2016 chairman and CEO Patrick G. Ryan emphasized during Chicago’s presentation the city’s many strong connections with Africa, including cultural, philanthropic and business endeavours, while discussing how its plan will further the Olympic and Paralympic Movements worldwide and create a lasting legacy for youth an sport.
He said, “we were honoured to share with ANOCA delegates the passion, enthusiasm and desire of the people of Chicago to welcome the world for the 2016 Games. Our bid is built on a commitment to help provide the life-changing values of sport to young people worldwide, and we were delighted to discuss with the delegates how the 2016 Games in Chicago would achieve that important goal”.
The bid committee also discussed the impact the new White House for Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport can have on the Olympic Movement.
He said, “President Obama has added the full weight of his authority to Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Games. The new White House Office, along with Mayor Daley’s desire for the Games, an internationally focused USOC, and Chicago’s powerful corporate community, ensures that we will have the resources to achieve all our Olympic and Paralympic goals”.