President Obama Makes Strongest Pitch To Date In Support Of Chicago 2016 

President Obama on video offering his support of Chicago 2016 during ANOCA meeting.July 7, 2009: As the International Olympic Committee's decision date to select a host city for the 2016 Summer Games draws closer, Chicago is stepping up its efforts to win global approval. The latest effort is a video from President Barack Obama detailing his support, as well as that of the United States, behind the Chicago 2016 drive. The two-minute video, which reinforced but also added more urgency to President Obama's previous public statements about Chicago's candidacy, was presented today (July 7) by representatives of Chicago 2016 during a a meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa in Abuja, Nigeria.

"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 honor. Olympic level sport is the highest embodiment of these ideals," President Obama said in the message, which was taped in the Oval Office at the White House. "Bringing the world together in a great celebration of humanity, the Olympic Games empower us, if even for a brief moment, to focus on all that we share rather than things that divide us, and the games remind us how much we all have to learn from each other.

"From the very beginning I have fully supported Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games," the President continues. "If Chicago is selected for this honor, we will insure that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a key priority for our nation. We have already established a White House office for Olympic, Paralympic and youth sports to support the Games. "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.

"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."

The IOC is scheduled to select a host city for the 2016 Summer Games this October. Other candidate cities are Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, all of which had representatives making presentations to the ANOCA.

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