September 28th, 2009
02:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama to make personal pitch for Olympics

Obama is lobbying for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games to be held in Chicago.
Obama is lobbying for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games to be held in Chicago.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will travel this week to Copenhagen, Denmark, to make a big push for the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Chicago, the White House said Monday.

Obama will join First Lady Michelle Obama and other administration officials in pitching Chicago to the International Olympic Committee on October 2, spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

No other U.S. president has ever attended an IOC meeting.

Chicago is vying for the Summer Games against Madrid, Spain; Tokyo, Japan; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Leaders from Brazil, Spain and Japan are expected to also make an in-person pitch.

The United States has hosted four Summer Olympic Games. In 1904, the Games were held in St. Louis, Missouri; in Los Angeles, California, in 1932 and 1984; and most recently Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996.

The International Olympic Committee will vote on the host city next month in Copenhagen.

In April, the U.S. Olympic Committee chose Chicago over Los Angeles as the U.S. bid city. Earlier, three other U.S. cities were in the running: Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Francisco, California.

The last U.S. city to host an Olympics was Salt Lake City, Utah, which was the venue for the 2002 Winter Games.

Obama held an event at the White House earlier this month to rally for Chicago as the host city.

"I may live in Washington these days, but I've called Chicago home for nearly 25 years," Obama said.

"It's a city of broad shoulders, big hearts, and bold dreams. A city of legendary sports figures, legendary sports venues and legendary sports fans.

"We want these Games!" Obama exclaimed, drawing applause.

While in Denmark, the president and first lady will meet with Queen Margrethe II and her husband, Prince Henrik, the White House said in a release. Obama also is scheduled meet with Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

Obama will leave Thursday night and return Friday afternoon, the White House said.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Ryan, Council Bluffs

    Israel is going to light up Iran sometime this week, and Obama is campaigning for the Olympics? He's great with words but not much else. Maybe he could start selling the "ShamWow"

    September 28, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  2. Obama is a Mistake

    I'm glad this President has such momentous things on his mind. He gives lots of speeches, but that's about it. Real work? Forget it.

    September 28, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. Willy Brown

    He can't get past the community thing. It's not your job Obummer to pitch for this but then you have no idea what your job really is do Barry?

    September 28, 2009 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  4. Joe

    Another fluff piece, What do you know. Where is the headline, Iran gets nuke under Obama's watch!

    September 28, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  5. Boob McNutt

    A Chicago Olympics would be awesome and historic; don't know if it's possible but it would be a huge moneymaker!

    September 28, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  6. d1120

    I really think he has more important items to attend to.

    September 28, 2009 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  7. NH Independent

    With everything going on in the country Obama is taking time to go to Demark to pitch the Olympics be in Chicago......he certainly has his priorities....NOT.....

    September 28, 2009 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    PLEASE President Obama – Make sure the RoundUp is good and the PITCH is a STRIKE!! And PLEASE, wear the right kind of PANTS – maybe some 'baggies' or something!!!

    This would be GREAT if we get the Summer Olympics here!!!

    September 28, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. Ryan in VA

    Man that is a terrible photo of Obama. C'mon CNN, you can do better than this, not to complain too much because I know you support his politics but that's ridiculous.

    September 28, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  10. rr

    Who's watching the kids?

    September 28, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. Terry

    I am one of the 30 million unemployed in the U.S. right now. Why is our president flying to Denmark to give a pitch to the olympic committee to have the olympics in chicago? Who is paying for Obama and his wife and thier entourage to fly all over the world sight seeing? I think we have bigger problems than the olympics being held where obama's wife is from. Chicago has been voted one of the dirtiest cities in america, and while obama is laughing it up in Denmark or the David Letterman show or one of the many vacations he has taken we have 30 million unemployed hungry starving people, and thousands of american troops being killed in afganistan. Does Obama understand what he is doing? Having Obama as our president is one of the most embarrasing moments in american history.

    September 28, 2009 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  12. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Having the Olympic Games in "thugtown" is an absolutely stupid idea, but then again, maybe dear leader will end up with egg on his face when the crime and corruption that are endemic in that city and which gave rise to someone like him are revealed for all of the world to see.

    September 28, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  13. Marilynn

    Obama meets General McChrystal once in 70 days, and yet he seems to have the time to fly to Denmark for to make Chicago his personal glory party? Barack sure has his priorities screwed up!

    September 28, 2009 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  14. snood

    Once again he shows he does not nknow the diffrence between local and fed poltics. are we paying for this familiy flight or is Chicago. People loosing jobs dayly, Healthcare reform not going as he thought, wallstreet still a problem Gitmo still up and running not to mention the wars happening and the once to come, but wouldn't it be cool to get the olympics in Chicago and then I can get them some cash to build new things for the event. this guy has A,D.D.

    September 28, 2009 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Should he be successful in his pitch this would mean a phenomenal boost to the economy in Illinois via vendors, jobs, and tourism. It would be reasonable to expect a boost in the tourism of other states as well with so many foreign visitors.

    September 28, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. Kevin in Ohio

    This is narcissism at its greatest..... This president has bigger responsibilities than to bring his hometown cronies another way to practice their corruption.

    September 28, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  17. Cambone1

    He should stay home and do his job rather than trying to feed the Daley machine.

    September 28, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. Brad

    "CHICAGO WINS OLYPICS".Congrats Chicago for winning the Olympics. If you think Obama is going to publicly lobby for Chicago and Chicago not get the Olympics, your living in a dream world. His staff already knows who's to get it. All of this is planned and packaged for the US voting public. How bad would it tarnish his image if he lobbied hard and didn't get the Olympics? So, again congrats Chicago.

    September 28, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. ps

    what a great president–thats all i got to say

    September 28, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  20. The Wasabe Kid

    The Olympics is a big expense, a huge problem for residents, and it leaves the host city with acres of wasteland filled with unusable structures. It costs taxpayers and communities a bundle of money. We can all watch it on TV so let Europe or Asia have the Olympics. We cant' afford it.

    September 28, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. jane

    This is an important effort on behalf of our economy. I hope he succeeds.

    September 28, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  22. Thomas

    I don't think Chicago could financially survive the olympics. Few US cities that have sponsored them have.

    The Olympics are less popular as the years go on. The magic has been stripped off due to scandals and cheating.

    I would very much like some other country to bear the expense if they so choose. That way, the United States garners the benefits but not the expenses.

    September 28, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  23. Frank

    Today, on Monday Sept. 28 at around 8:30 EDT, “Fox and Friends” attacked the President for making a trip to Copenhagen, GERMANY. The Germans must have invaded Denmark while I slept.

    Dr. Frank Stapper
    Broken Arrow, OK

    September 28, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  24. Dennis

    Without a doubt the right-wing propaganda machine will be out in full force on this one with comments like "stay at home and do your job" and "why am I paying for a vacation" or many other narrow-minded, inane comments.

    The truth of the matter is the Summer Olympic Games would be an economic boon for the USA with many jobs created and a lasting infra-structure built. This type of lobbying is intended to benefit all Americans, not just a few. To have a sound and sustainable economy it must be built on building things up, not tearing them down.

    The right-wing method is to funnel as much money as they can into the war machine to produce things to blow up or use up. Their solution is to provide BILLIONS of dollars in welfare to a few WALL STREET capitalists, and then WHINE and BLAME others for massive deficits caused by WAR DEBT and WALL STREET BAILOUTS.

    It is time that Americans woke up and realized that so-called CONSERVATIVES are not fiscal conservatives at all. Just look at their record as far as who created the vast majority of this countries debt.

    It is time for honest, hard-working and moral Americans to stop taking marching orders from self-serving talking heads and use their own heads just a little and learn the real truth.

    September 28, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. Keith in Austin

    Why doesn't Obama consider making a personal pitch for the USA? His standard verbage is apologies all over the World for America's historical misdeeds. This President is an embarrasment!

    September 28, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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