Chicago golden girl Michelle Obama brings glitz to Olympic challenge

by Oprah Winfrey accompanied her, as did her husband Barack Obama.

And she talked about fostering children's dreams and how her father, a working class hero who fought multiple sclerosis much of his life, always impressed on her the importance of sport.

When Michelle Obama said the "gloves are off" in the race to secure the 2016 Olympics, she meant business.

Her hair and her outfit even more immaculate than usual, the US first lady was by her own admission "fired up" as she deployed her considerable charm in a failed effort to win the games for her hometown Chicago.

At Thursday's gala dinner in Copenhagen in the presence of Princess Mary and Prince Frederik, the charismatic politician's wife rubbed shoulders with Pele and Brazilian president 'Lula' da Silva, who was promoting Rio de Janeiro's bid.

King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Sofia were also in attendance, supporting Madrid's proposal.

The glittering event was the culmination of an intense lobbying process.

During briefings, Michelle was on sparkling form, joking that Chicago's famously bitter climate would "actually be nice" during the Games.

Asked about her birthplace's reputation for crime she responded: "Most of these Games are taking place blocks away from my house. There's good security by my house these days."

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