Barack and Michelle Obama Cheer Olympic Athletes at the White House

The first lady is headed to Copenhagen next month to lobby for Chicago as 2016 Olympic Games host.

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

He learned his lesson after the great bowling debacle of 2008, when candidate Barack Obama bowled a pitiful 37 while campaigning in Pennsylvania. Now, if he hasn't practiced a sport, the president sticks to the sidelines. Today, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama watched Olympic athletes demonstrate judo, fencing, and gymnastics on the South Lawn as part of a pep rally to cheer on Chicago's bid for the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.

The White House had already announced that the president would not be traveling to Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee will meet on October 2 to decide where the 2016 games will be held. He's sending his wife instead. "I would make the case in Copenhagen personally, if I weren't so firmly committed to making real the promise of quality, affordable healthcare for every American," Obama told an audience of schoolchildren, aides, athletes, and reporters at the White House. "But the good news is I'm sending a more compelling superstar to represent the city and the country we love, and that is our first lady, Michelle Obama." The first lady will have to persuade the IOC members to choose Chicago over Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Here's a clip of the Obamas watching the judo demonstration: