Thursday, June 18, 2009

President Obama to Create New Office of Youth Sport

President Barack Obama is forming a White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport. The office will promote the values of the Olympic movement and encourage increased youth participation in athletics. The primary function of the office will be to enhance awareness of the Olympic movement through promotion of its fundamental principles at the federal level. The new office will recommend federal policies and programs to the President to enhance opportunities and access for youth participation in sport, with particular focus on youth in urban areas. It will also foster and encourage youth sport, educational and cultural events involving Olympic values-based programs and the participation of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians.
"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," the president said. "A key part of this is increasing access to healthy, constructive activities like sports for our nation's children. Too many American kids -- particularly those in urban areas -- have no access to organized sporting activities."
The move is also being seen as a way to support Chicago's bid for the Olympic games. In its competition with Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid for the 2016 Games, Chicago is the only bidder that does not have full government financial backing for its bid. The new White House office provides an important symbolic show of federal support, but it does not include any financial guarantees.Patrick Ryan, chairman of Chicago's bid committee, released a statement applauding the establishment of the White House office as "a great development" and a sign that Obama "is an ardent supporter of the Olympic values."

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