Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tomorrow's Decision Day for 2016 Olympics/Paralympics


Tomorrow we'll learn if Chicago will host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. President Obama made a quick stop in Copenhagen to support the city's bid, but First Lady Michelle Obama is the one who's really making the case. She's meeting with members of the International Olympics Committee, as are representatives from the cities being considered -- Tokyo, Japan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Madrid, Spain.

As reported in Politico, "The city that wins the Olympic games also hosts the Paralympics, a competition for people with disabilities. The Paralympics aspect of Chicago’s plan is said to be one of strongest components of their $3.3 billion bid. Michelle Obama sees the Olympics as part of her broader portfolio as first lady.

Mrs. Obama said: "All I have are my stories, my experiences as a Chicagoan, as an American, as someone who believes deeply that health and fitness have got to play a greater role in the lives of our kids and our communities, and as someone who believes that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the best way to bring that message home."

It's interesting to look into the future and imagine the Olympics being held in Chicago in 2016. If President Obama can be reelected for a second term in 2012, the Olympics would be held in his final year in office, in the midst of a presidential campaign to choose his successor. Maybe while they shine a spotlight on the Paralympics, he and Mrs. Obama can announce their commitment to making disability issues a major focus of their post-White House days. We can dream, right?
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