U.S. President lends voice to Chicago's Olympic bid


CHICAGO, July 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama is once again lending his clout to Chicago's Olympic bid, according to local media reports Tuesday.

While meeting with members of the International Olympic Committee in Nigeria Tuesday, officials from Chicago 2016 unveiled a new video featuring the president. In the two-minute pitch, Obama says the Olympics would be a "key priority" for the U.S. government if the Games come to Chicago.

"As president, I see the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games as an opportunity for America to reach out and renew our bonds of friendship throughout the world; to welcome the world to our shores with open arms," Obama said.

This is the fourth time Obama has appeared in a video pitch on behalf of Chicago's Olympic bid.

Obama could have particular sway with the Committee's African members, given his family's connections to Kenya.

The International Olympic Committee will choose a host city for the 2016 Games on Oct. 2 in Copenhagen, Denmark, among the four bidding cities -- Madrid, Chicago, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

Chicago seems to be among the frontrunners in this race, largely because the United States, a major financial contributor to the Games through its sponsors, has not hosted the Olympics since the Atlanta 1996 Games.

The U.S. has also gained an unexpected advantage with President Obama, having spent most of his political life in that city and having backed the bid before his presidential election.