- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2009

DENVER (AP) - The committee hoping to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago has an early commitment from President Barack Obama to be in Copenhagen for its final presentation and the International Olympic Committee vote.

Pat Ryan, chairman of the Chicago 2016 bid, said Monday that Obama plans to attend the meeting in October. Heads of state have been present at meetings more frequently in the past few years. When London overcame favorite Paris to land the 2012 Games, a strong, in-person push by British Prime Minister Tony Blair was viewed as one of the reasons.

Obama’s election has been widely regarded as a boon for the Chicago bid because of his Illinois background and his worldwide popularity. Obama already has chipped in by providing a video message for the bid for earlier presentations to international delegates.

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