Chicago approves Olympic contract

White House Olympic event next week
September 9, 2009 8:32:33 PM PDT
It appears Chicago's Olympic bid is also on the president's radar. Mayor Daley says the White House will host an Olympic and paralympic day next week.

The news followed Wednesday's unanimous vote by the City Council to take full financial responsibility if Chicago is awarded the 2016 Games.

President Obama supported Chicago's 2016 bid on camera. Now U.S. Olympic officials want him to meet face to face with the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen.

"There is an expectation level by the voting members of the IOC for the president to be there. And the other heads of state have all committed to be there. So we're hoping President Obama will show up and participate," said Larry Probst, USOC, chairman of the board.

"It would be a big positive if he were there and arguable a bigger negative if he weren't there and all other heads of state did show up," said Dick Pound, IOC member.

Especially since the President is from Chicago, leading the nation with fellow Chicagoans like Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel, key sources for Mayor Daley.

"I don't see how they can turn the Mayor down if he wants Obama to go since all of them got their start with the Mayor, "said Prof. Paul Green, Roosevelt University.

On Wednesday, the City Council backed Mayor Daley and the games one by one

"I'm a cheerleader for 2016!" said Alderman Bernard Stone.

"In the end, the alderman unanimously supported an ordinance that allows the mayor to sign the Olympic host city contract. That means the city will be responsible for picking up the tab.

The mayor insists that insurance guarantees will protect taxpayers up to $1.5 billion.

"I understand the public had questions, they should. The marketing wasn't done that well by Chicago 2016. People got confused. Recession is out there. Yes, that had responsible questions and we answered every responsible question," said Mayor Daley.

Chicago taxpayers along the lakefront on Wednesday night were divided.

"I say let's go for it. I'm willing to put myself on the line and pay some extra taxes to bring the Olympics to Chicago. It would be amazing," said Jessica Cappelli, Chicago resident.

"Everybody is going to end up paying in the end, "said Sheyssa Rosado, Chicago resident.

US Olympic officials say, in the past, having the head of a country attend the final process really made a difference. They credit Tony Blair for helping London secure the 2012 Summer Games. Russia's Vladamir Putin also showed up when his country won the 2014 Winter Games.


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