ISTANBUL, Turkey – Chicago presented its 2016 Olympics bid to a key international audience Friday with a powerful endorsement from its highest-profile supporter in America: president-elect Barack Obama.
Obama made a personal appeal for the Olympics to come to his home city in a taped video message played to the general assembly of European Olympic Committees, the largest regional group in the Olympic movement.
“The United States would be honored to have the opportunity to host the Games and serve the Olympic movement,” said Obama, wearing a dark suit and sitting at a desk in his Chicago transition office. “As president-elect, I see the Olympics and Paralympic Games as an opportunity for our nation to reach out, welcome the world to our shores and strengthen our friendships across the globe.”
Obama lives a few blocks from Chicago’s proposed 2016 Olympic stadium.
Chicago is competing against Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, which also made presentations Friday.