COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrived on Friday at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in the Danish capital to support Chicago’s bid to hold the 2016 Games.
Obama, joined by his wife Michelle who has been lobbying in Copenhagen for two days, was scheduled to present Chicago’s proposal to the IOC just hours before it selects a host city.
Chicago is competing with Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro to host the Summer Games, and Obama is the first U.S. president to address the IOC in person to support a city’s bid.
Born in Hawaii, Obama is a Chicagoan, rising from community organizer in the Windy City to Illinois senator to president.
His lightning visit to Copenhagen to support his home town’s bid is widely seen as a high-risk political maneuver which could backfire and damage the president’s prestige if Chicago fails to be chosen.
After speaking to the IOC, Obama is scheduled to meet Denmark’s Queen Margrethe and Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen at Christiansborg Palace, the seat of government and parliament in central Copenhagen.