Obama Writes Letter to IOC Members

The President writes he looks forward to meeting the Olympic committee

By Nicola Orichuia
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 5:52 AM CDT
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Chicago 2016 Venue Plans

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President Obama uses a light saber as he watches a demonstration of fencing at an event supporting Chicago's 2016 host city Olympic bid, Wednesday, Sept. 16, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.

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Even though the president’s Olympic travel plans remain secret, a letter President Barack Obama recently wrote may hold another clue to his possible presence at the Oct. 2 Olympic vote in Copenhagen.

“I believe we have an historic opportunity to do great things together, and I look forward to discussing that opportunity with you, if not Copenhagen, then soon thereafter if Chicago is your choice,” the president wrote in a letter dated Sept. 10 and delivered to select members of the International Olympic Committee. NBCChicago obtained a copy from the White House.

Obama had initially been adamant about not going to the voting event that will decide which city between Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

But speculation on his possible attendance has been running wild ever since Obama decided to send an advance team to Copenhagen to evaluate the possibilities of attending the vote ceremony.

Reports have also been coming out about a discussion between the president and Mayor Richard M. Daley on attending the event.

IOC member, Dick Pound, recently said Obama’s absence would be “noted,” adding that the president’s presence would make “a huge difference.” But IOC President Jacques Rogge responded by saying that the president's appearance "[is] absolutely not a requirement."

Although the letter pretty much recalls the speech Obama gave during the Olympic party recently held at the White House, the president promised his government would “support Chicago’s quest to host an unforgettable event and strengthen the Olympic movement,” the AP reported after obtaining the letter.

That First Lady Michelle Obama will be leading the U.S. mission, leaving for the Danish capital on Sept. 30 alongside White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett is the only thing set in stone. 

For complete coverage of Chicago's Olympic Bid click here.

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