Bring It To My Country.
When I first joined the USA Bid Committee and narrated the film you just saw, I did so because of some beliefs I hold very dear.
I believe in the ideals of my country, and in the promise it has always held for people from every corner of the globe.
From the very beginning, people have been coming to the United States because ours is a nation founded on tolerance, on freedom of thought and expression and religion. And still people come, for we are a country rooted in hope and possibility and hard work — a country of dreams, and the right to pursue them.
We have sometimes struggled to be true to our ideals, but as we rise to meet our challenges, we come together as a people. We are now the most diverse nation on Earth, and our patchwork heritage is our greatest strength—lots of Americans, one America.
I also believe that sport, as Nelson Mandela says, “has the power to change the world.”
I’ve never seen the potential for this more strongly, more clearly, than in America’s growing passion for the beautiful game. I’ve witnessed the remarkable power of football at home, and I’ve had the honor of witnessing it at this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.
If you haven’t lived in the United States, you haven’t seen just how wide and deep Americans’ love of football really is. You would be surprised, maybe even shocked.
You would also see just how perfectly football’s values mirror the values of our nation:
You would see that in a country that admires individual achievement, we truly cherish what can be done when we come together as a group.
You would see that in a country founded on the belief that we are all created equal, we love the fact that on the pitch there is no difference whatsoever between a doctor and a cab driver, a carpenter… and an actor.
The world of the World Cup is the world we want to live in. To us, the FIFA World Cup — 32 nations coming together to live by 17 rules, with the rest of the planet cheering alongside them — is in many ways a vision of paradise on earth.
The prospect of hosting the event for one transcendent month is for us an exhilarating, humbling opportunity to use the power of the game to indeed change the world.
Never has my country been more committed to bringing an event to our shores. From our fans to our media to our government, we are ready to embrace the world.
And there is no stronger, more resolute supporter of our bid than the man whom you are about to hear from. As he expressed to you President Blatter at the earliest stages of our bid, he discovered the unifying power of the sport as a young boy playing football on the streets of Jakarta, and its lessons have carried him on to the present, where he continues to marvel at the spirit of football, of the unity of it, from the touch lines of his daughters’ games.
Bring It To My Country…
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the President of the United States, Barack Obama.