11 Sep 2009

U.S. Olympic hopes hinge on President

5:51 pm on 11 September 2009

Organisers of Chicago's bid to stage the 2016 Olympics are still anxiously waiting to know whether United States President Barack Obama will join them in presenting their final pitch.

Obama has enthusiastically pledged his support for his home town's campaign to stage the Games, sending taped messages to International Olympic Committee members and agreeing to host a reception for Olympians and Paralympians at the White House next week.

But the president has still not provided an answer to the lingering question of whether he would personally address the IOC when they meet in Copenhagen next month to decide the winner.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair was largely credited with helping London secure the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Chicago's three rivals, Madrid, Rio and Tokyo, have all been given realistic chances of winning the vote and are expected to bring in their own heads of state to bolster their bids.