Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Could Bring Olympics To Chicago?

With Barack Obama about to occupy the White House, officials in Chicago feel pretty good about their chances of landing the 2016 Games.

Obama's victory provided more visibility for Chicago-his hometown. It would mark the first time the Summer Games return back to the United States since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The boost may already be at work. The world got a view of Chicago during Obama's Grant Park victory speech, the area is a centerpiece of the Chicago Olympic bid. The world's journalist saw a spectacular city and well-behaved crowds on Tuesday.

This is the fears of Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro. The President-elect is popular not just in the U.S. but around the world and is good at giving speeches.

"I wonder how IOC members will react when Mr. Obama appears in a presentation for Chicago," Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda told Japanese media Wednesday.

The IOC will name the 2016 host at its general assembly in October next year. Before that Obama may appear in Copenhagen next year to lobby the IOC members directly, similiar to the effort of Tony Blair in landing London 2012.

It would be a sight. If Chicago gets the Olympics and Obama wins another term, he could open the games in home town.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

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