Obama sets-up Olympic Office to boost Chicago bid

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The Independent Online

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the creation of the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport on Tuesday, which could provide a boost to Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Games.

Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro are bidding to stage the 2016 Olympics, with the winner to be announced at the International Olympic Committee's Congress in Denmark in October.

The White House said in a statement the new office would promote the values of the Olympic movement and encourage increased youth participation in sports.

"As the International Olympic Committee moves forward with their selection process we hope that this new office can serve as a model for youth involvement worldwide," Obama said.

"It is an important goal of my administration to give our nation's children every possible tool they need to grow, learn and succeed in life.

"Sports are an important way to instil values, judgment and teamwork in our nation's kids, and this new office reflects our commitment to giving all our children a chance to thrive."

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) welcomed the announcement.

"This is a great day for the Olympic and Paralympic movement in the United States," USOC acting chief executive officer Stephanie Streeter said in a statement.

"We embrace and welcome this high-level White House support and advocacy for the USOC, Chicago 2016 and the goals of the Olympic movement."