The International Olympic Committee on Friday started a key meeting to choose the host for the 2016 Olympics with US President Barack Obama pressing the case for Chicago against government leaders and kings from rival bidders.
Japan’s new prime minister Yukio Hatoyama is fighting for Tokyo, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva for Rio de Janeiro and Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero campaigning for Madrid.
Chicago were first to give their presentation to the 100-plus members of the IOC.
Generally seen as odds on favourites they were led by a relaxed looking Obama and his wife Michelle as they bid to become the first American city to host the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.
Obama, former senator for Illinois and resident of Chicago for nearly 25 years, flew in on Friday while the US First Lady has been lobbying IOC members here since Wednesday.
Chicago began first to be followed by Tokyo, the only one of the four to have previously hosted the Games, Rio, attempting to bring the Games to South America for the first time, and rank outsiders Madr