.
October 2nd, 2009
11:03 AM ET

Michelle Obama steals the show in Copenhagen

Michelle Obama's speech in Copenhagen focused on her roots in Chicago and her father's battle with MS.

Michelle Obama's speech in Copenhagen focused on her roots in Chicago and her father's battle with MS.

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

After flying through the night for seven hours aboard Air Force One, nobody would blame President Obama for being at least slightly groggy when he arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a quick four hours to make the final pitch for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics.

Maybe that explains why the president seemed to snag the silver medal while first lady Michelle Obama, who's been in Copenhagen a couple of days, clearly took the gold with an emotional speech focused on her family's roots in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, and her late father's battle with multiple sclerosis.

"Sports were a gift I shared with my dad, especially the Olympic Games," Obama said in her portion of the U.S. delegation's final presentation to the International Olympic Committee. "Some of my best memories are sitting on my dad's lap, cheering on Olga and Nadia, Carl Lewis and others for their brilliance and perfection.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Michelle Obama • Olympics
October 1st, 2009
08:49 PM ET

Interactive: Olympic-worthy cities to see, win or lose


Jessica Ravitz
CNN

From hot dogs in the American heartland to the sexy samba on South American beaches, from traditional Kabuki theater amid high-tech modernity to European culture and sophistication, four international cities hope to showcase what they have to offer the world on the Olympic stage.

The countdown clocks are ticking for Chicago, Illinois; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tokyo, Japan; and Madrid, Spain. The International Olympic Committee, now gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, will vote Friday to determine the winning host city for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Go here to see an interactive of profiles of all of the cities making a bid.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Michelle Obama • Olympics
October 1st, 2009
03:23 PM ET

Chicago-Rio Battle "Close As Hell"

The Obamas hope an appearance in Copenhagen will boost their chances of bringing the Olympics to Chicago.

The Obamas hope an appearance in Copenhagen will boost their chances of bringing the Olympics to Chicago.

Ed Henry
CNN

As First Lady Michelle Obama and talk show host Oprah Winfrey wrapped up a day of furious behind-the-scenes lobbying of International Olympic Committee members here, two sources close to the process tell CNN that the battle between Chicago and Rio is privately heating up over who will host the 2016 Summer Games.

Madrid and Tokyo are also in the running, but the sources close the process said that Chicago and Rio have emerged as the clear front-runners and are in a neck-and-neck battle ahead of President Obama's arrival early Friday for a presentation to the IOC's 105 members who will be voting later in the day.

After a flurry of private conversations among IOC officials here, one of the sources close to the process said bluntly it's "close as hell" between Chicago and Rio as both Obama and Brazilian President Lula da Silva plan to make personal appeals to the voters on behalf of their cities on Friday morning. FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Michelle Obama • Olympics • Oprah Winfrey
October 1st, 2009
10:50 AM ET

Obama's Olympic bid is for unity

President Obama plans to make a personal pitch to bring the 2016 Olympics to his hometown.

President Obama plans to make a personal pitch to bring the 2016 Olympics to his hometown.

Sarah Hughes
CNN

What are the first thoughts that pop into your mind when you hear the word Olympics? Probably something synonymous with excellence, greatness, excitement, achievement.

Maybe it's the striking image of Nadia Comaneci scoring a perfect 10 etched in your mind, or the experience of following Michael Phelps' quest to win a record-breaking eight gold medals last summer in Beijing, China.

Or is it the thrill of watching the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team winning the gold medal in Lake Placid, stacked up against unimaginable odds, that occupies that space?

I could go on and on, but whatever image the Olympics has for you is probably accompanied by a feeling of pride, happiness, joyfulness, maybe even a childlike glee.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Barack Obama • Chicago Killings • Olympics
September 29th, 2009
11:55 PM ET

Can Obama fit any more on his plate?

Candy Crowley
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

President Obama faces a daunting fall to-do list against the backdrop of an American public losing enthusiasm on a variety of issues.

Obama's agenda ranges from dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions to traveling to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago for the 2016 Olympics - a trip the president said two weeks ago he could not take because he was working on health care.

"Health care reform has been his No. 1 priority issue here domestically. He wanted to make sure that if he went, that it wouldn't have an adverse impact on that, so he's going for just a day," said senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

And health care will still be at the top of the list when the president gets back. This fall, his priorities are health care and financial reform, one Capitol Hill source said.

But health care reform will require a hands-on approach. The Senate Democratic leadership is looking for presidential guidance in creating one bill out of two very different ones - all the while holding onto enough votes to pass it.

And as for Obama's other goal, the administration sent financial reform legislation to the Hill and on both sides, committee work has begun, but it's a long way from cooked.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Barack Obama • Health Care • Olympics
September 29th, 2009
11:59 AM ET

Michelle Obama Vows to "Take No Prisoners" in Olympic Bid

First lady's attitude about the effort to secure Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics: 'Take no prisoners.'

First lady's attitude about the effort to secure Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics: 'Take no prisoners.'

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

First Lady Michelle Obama vowed Monday to "take no prisoners" as she and her husband launch an unprecedented bid for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid, comparing the intense lobbying effort to the 2008 presidential campaign.

"It's a battle - we're going to win - take no prisoners," Mrs. Obama said with a smile at a roundtable discussion with reporters in the State Dining Room.
Mrs. Obama noted that in the campaign a lot of voters made their decision in the final days, and members of the International Olympic Committee may do the same.

"And our view is, we're not taking a chance," she said. "We're just not going to assume that the bids - that the decisions are made, and so that no matter what the outcome is, we'll feel as a country, as a team, that we've done everything that we can to bring it home."

Along those lines the White House confirmed that on Thursday night President Obama will fly to Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee will be reviewing bids from several countries on Friday, the first time that an American president will personally lobby the IOC in this manner for a U.S. victory. Mrs. Obama arrives on Wednesday with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and other top aides.

"What a dynamic duo they will be," said Jarrett. "I think it will be high impact, I think their presentation will be both very personal, given that they know and love Chicago so well."

Mrs. Obama added that she and Vice President Joe Biden have also been lobbying IOC members by telephone in recent days in order to try and land the Olympics for her home city, and she plans a packed schedule once she lands in Denmark. "I think I'm talking to everybody," she said of the dozens of IOC members who will decide the victor.

Mrs. Obama will also make a formal presentation to the IOC, before the President makes his own pitch on Friday. "We're each going to do our own proposal," said Mrs. Obama. "I think we have as good a chance as any country."

She joked, however, that there are limits to how far they will work together. "We're not going to do a joint poem together," Mrs. Obama said with a laugh.
But she also revealed a story that suggests she's taking the lobbying very seriously by noting that at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh she sat next to the First Lady of Brazil, one of the nations submitting a rival bid.

"I adore her but I said, 'You know, I'm going to hug you now and then I'm going after you in Copenhagen,'" Mrs. Obama recalled with a laugh. "And she said, 'You too.' So gloves are off."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Michelle Obama • Olympics
August 11th, 2009
09:46 AM ET

Eunice Kennedy Shriver's "Special" Legacy

Editor's Note: Eunice Kennedy Shriver died this morning at the age of 88 at a Cape Cod, Mass. hospital. She is the sister of former Pres. John F. Kennedy. former Sen. Robert Kennedy and current Sen. Ted Kennedy. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, R. Sargent Shriver Jr.; her five children; and her nineteen grandchildren.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver speaks at a dinner in honor of the Special Olympics in July 2006.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver speaks at a dinner in honor of the Special Olympics in July 2006.
The Special Olympics grew from Camp Shriver, a summer day camp in Shriver's backyard, where people with intellectual disabilities could explore their capabilities in a variety of sports and physical activities.

The Special Olympics grew from Camp Shriver, a summer day camp in Shriver's backyard, where people with intellectual disabilities could explore their capabilities in a variety of sports and physical activities.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Eunice Kennedy Shriver is proof that one person can truly change the world. In 1968, Mrs. Shriver founded the Special Olympics, inspired in part by her intellectually disabled sister Rosemary.

Forty-one years later, there are more than three million Special Olympians in more than 150 countries. I'm proud to say my brother, Stephen, is one of them. He's one of three million people who now stands proud because of Mrs. Shriver. He's one of three million people whose life has changed for the better thanks to Mrs. Shriver. And, he is one of three million Special Olympians who has lost a dear friend.

FULL POST

February 3rd, 2009
08:20 AM ET

Big Bong Theory

Sally Jenkins
The Washington Post

So Michael Phelps dove headfirst into the bong water. Is anyone really surprised, after all those laps? There has always been something submerged and escapist about the world's greatest swimmer. When presented with a chamber containing a hazy translucent liquid, he did what's become second nature to him. He buried his face in it.

I'm just sorry I wasn't at that University of South Carolina house party to witness Squid Boy's binge firsthand - not that I would ever make such a staggering misstep myself.

Read More...

February 2nd, 2009
03:34 PM ET

Phelps faces risks from firing up

Danielle Dellorto
CNN Medical Producer

“What was he thinking?” That seems to be the common reaction when fans hear the news that Olympic superstar Michael Phelps got caught smoking pot. What’s interesting is, as I dug deeper, I realized people weren’t too concerned that his behavior may harm his health, but more appalled that his getting caught could cost him millions of dollars in endorsement money.

This got me thinking that a lot people look at marijuana as having very limited impact on our health. One friend made his case to me with absolute certainty in his tone, “In the big scheme of things, smoking pot is not going to hurt me.” He added, “At least I don’t smoke cigarettes.”

But is that really true? Are cigarettes worse for your health than marijuana? An overwhelming amount of research says not so fast.

Smoking one marijuana cigarette sends the same amount of tar into the lungs as four tobacco cigarettes. Turns out pot contains about 400 chemicals and 50 percent more carcinogens than a tobacco cigarette. Carcinogens cause damage to the DNA in our cells, increasing your risk for lung infections, heart disease and even cancer.

Keep Reading...

February 2nd, 2009
03:16 PM ET

Michael Phelps’ Pot Photo: When Kids’ Heroes Fall

Sue Shellenbarger
The Wall Street Journal

The now-famous photo published yesterday, showing Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps inhaling from a marijuana pipe, raises a thorny question about parenting in a celebrity-obsessed age: What do you do when your kids’ beloved idols become fallen heroes?

Mr. Phelps’ transgression, and his acknowledgment of poor judgment, is certain to rock the worlds of the legions of youthful swimmers who dream of emulating him. Mr. Phelps has had to apologize publicly before, after pleading guilty in 2004 to a drunken driving charge. But that screwup was less widely noticed, because he hadn’t yet broken Mark Spitz’s record for winning the most gold medals at an Olympics.

Read More...

« older posts
newer posts »