"As a lifelong Chicagoan, the First Lady is uniquely qualified to share with members of the IOC the passion and enthusiasm of our city for sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. Just as importantly, the First Lady will be able to share how the values for which the Olympic and Paralympic Movement stands – hope, opportunity and the promise of creating a better, more peaceful world for the next generation – align perfectly with the values of President Barack Obama, his Administration, and our entire country.
"Additionally, as previously announced, the President's Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, will also be a member of our Delegation and we're grateful for her continued support.
"President Obama informed IOC President Count Jacque Rogge today that the fight to pass health insurance reform keeps him from committing at this time to travel to Copenhagen on October 2, but he will continue to work to support Chicago's bid.
"There is no greater supporter of Chicago and its bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games than President Obama – and his support is recognized worldwide. The President has appeared in numerous videos and public rallies on behalf of Chicago 2016, and early in his administration created the new White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Sport. Ms. Jarrett, who is a former Vice Chair of the Chicago 2016 Board of Directors, directs this important office.
"From every level of government – city, county, state and federal – Chicago 2016 enjoys unprecedented support. Just this week, the Chicago City Council provided a unanimous 49-0 vote to authorize the Mayor of Chicago to sign the International Olympic Committee Host City Contract and provide a full financial guarantee for the Games. Further, the federal government has pledged to provide security for the Games, should Chicago be so honored. This level of support is unprecedented for a United States bid – and the IOC Membership is well aware of this."