There was a little news item floating around Monday in relation to this guy we elected to run these United States of America and his connection to Chicago which brushes right into our little realm of sports.
With Chicago very much in the running to host the Olympics in 2016, people are starting to wonder how much the chances for getting that bid have improved since Chitown’s own Barack Obama will be president as of January 20, 2009.
Japan, also in the running (Tokyo), has already asked that question and seems a little freaked out about the possibilities.
Apparently the International Olympic Committee decided last year to allow heads of state to appear when sites make their final pitch, which Chicago will do in Copenhagen just less than a year from now.
Britain’s Tony Blair and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have already used this to help land the Olympics for their countries.
So, one can imagine, those representing Chicago’s effort to get the Games in 2016 would like nothing better than to have America’s first black president to stride out and make the city’s final pitch. Can you imagine the IOC saying no to a man that’s already broken down so many barriers? We certainly can’t.
Without mixing too much sports and politics (cringe), the stature of the United States has fallen off a little bit in the last eight years (not that we can imagine why), so using Obama’s charisma as a leader to galvanize the U.S. effort to land the Games over Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.
And hey, we’re not just making this up. Let’s see what Canadian IOC member Richard Pound had to say:
“On the international scene, the U.S. really needs to put the last eight years behind it and build new bridges, and having a new president who can do exactly that will do wonders for a U.S. bid,” Pound said.
Yeah, we believe what the Canadian has to say.
Seriously, let’s be realistic for a second (not that we like to dabble in the real world too much). But if Barack Obama can get elected president as an African-American in the United States, landing the Olympics is gravy. Beware, world.