Reuters reports Brazil’s Sports Minister Orlando Silva Jr. said Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama’s absence from the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) host city vote next month in Copenhagen could diminish Chicago’s chances.
Silva told foreign journalists, “the absence of President Barack Obama at the IOC session to choose the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games will strongly handicap the city of Chicago. We are very confident because we realize there is great respect in the international community for the president of the Brazilian republic”.
Chicago is bidding against Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Spain’s King Juan Carlos have confirmed their attendance at the October 2 vote.
As for Rio 2016’s chances, Silva said, “in all the bidding presentations there was a good reception and understanding of Rio de Janeiro’s message. We want to transform the city of Rio de Janeiro through the Olympic Games, reinforcing sport as an instrument of social change, bringing the Olympic movement to South America”.