Big Push for 2016 Olympics in Chicago

POSTED: Thursday, October 1, 2009 - 8:04am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm

In the city of Copenhagen, it is the sprint to the finish. So, Chicago is rolling out a dream team to try to win the summer Olympics in 2016.

First lady Michelle Obama has been there for the past day selling her hometown hard. "This is an opportunity for the United States to connect with the world in a really important way at a very critical time,” said Obama. She is joined by the queen of talk, Oprah, and a slew of Olympic royalty like: Nastia Liukin and Nadia Comenici. "For us to be able to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games would be what my grandmother used to call our crowning glory,” said Oprah Winfrey.

An all out effort to put Chicago atop the other finalist cities: Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro- trying to win South America's first Olympics ever. But Chicago hopes its golden ticket is in a presidential pitch.

"I'll sleep on the plane. I'll land, and I'll speak. Fly right back," said President Obama. Experts say he could make all the difference. Alan Abrahamson of NBCSports.com said, "Chicago's chances are significantly, and I mean significantly, enhanced by the fact the President of the United States is going to be on hand here."

Not everyone agrees with the presidential participation. "He's the President of the United States, not the Mayor of Chicago," said Rep. John Boehner of Ohio.

Some in Chicago say they don't want the games - even staging protests over the past few days. But for those who hope the Second City is the IOC’s first choice, excitement is building as the who's who of Chicago get ready to put on a full-court press.