By Duncan Mackay

September 21 - Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley (pictured) today claimed that the United States city has the edge over Rio de Janeiro, its biggest rivals to host the 2016 Olympics, because Brazil has already been awarded the 2014 World Cup.

He said that the fact that Brazil is staging the single biggest sports event in the world would work against Rio when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members come to cast their vote at the Session in Copenhagen on October 2.

Daley said: "I'm getting more confident because they're getting the 2014 soccer [World Cup], that's the biggest event, some believe it's bigger than the Olympics.

"I'm much more confident in our presentation, I'm much more confident in our sponsorship, I'm much more confident that we have all the facts and figures for the Olympic and Paralympics."

Rio officials have claimed that hosting the World Cup only two years before the Olympics would help ensure that the infrastructure needed to stage the Games would be ready in time.

Daley said: "The World Cup is completely different than the Olympics.

"That's all soccer stadiums, it's completely different.

"They don't have all the other events [facilities] there that we have."

Daley has also dismissed the chances of Chicago's other rivals, Madrid and Tokyo, because of their geographical locations.

He said: "When you look at our competition, and the challenges we face with the Olympics and Beijing just had the Olympics so Tokyo, Japan, is very close to China, then you take Madrid is very close in Europe to London and London's getting 2012."

Daley's surge of confidence in Chicago's bid has coincided with reports over the weekend that United States President Barack Obama is preparing to travel to Copenhagen as part of the city's delegation.

Daley, though, is refusing to say publicly if he knows or not whether Obama will definitely make the trip to the Danish capital.

He said: "I cannot speak for the White House, but we're encouraged and happy that [First Lady] Michelle Obama will lead our delegation there.

"I think that's what we're excited about." 

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