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. Jerry Grunden

    For those who complain about his travel, remember one thing, Air Force one is the White House with wings. He can multi-task and take care of all of the issues that are at hand. Remember we have advanced technology that allows a person to work from several locations.

    You complain about the travel, about the Olympics, about the wars, about the economy but seriously be honest with yourself and others, you are only complaining about the man or repeating what Faux News and Rush's has said about this topic.

    September 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Gary

    I know presidents like to travel a lot. But in this time of economic downturn and citizens doing without, it sure seems like Barak seems to use Air Force One a lot. How much does it cost to get Air Force One in the air just to go somewhere to make a speech or to Denmark to woo the IOC? I thought this administration was going to make more use of networking and internet to provide information and yes, make speeches.

    September 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Dan

    ALL PRESIDENTS HAVE ALWAYS TRAVELLED AT THE EXPENSE OF TAXPAYERS!!! That includes Bush, Reagan, and even Abraham Lincoln. Get over it and finding something valid to complain about.

    September 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Stanley

    Wow ... this guy is ALL OVER THE PLACE ... except for in Washington doing HIS JOB!

    September 28, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Slider

    When STIMULUS fails, there's always the Olympics.

    It makes since; both are sucking black holes where money goes and never returns.

    September 28, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. John Somsel

    I am a big Obama supporter, however, this is a bad move and he should keep his nose out of the Olympics. There are important issues he should be focusing on at this time and the Olympics ar not on the list of things he should do. i hope he gets a wake up call on this from an angry support group. John

    September 28, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Mason

    I am sure ACORN will be the greeting and concessionary folk.

    September 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. dft

    Mitt Romney, was responsible for the olympics in Salt Lake, did he do it to ruin that city? No he knew that jobs from construction, hospitality and other service providers would be created for the cities population. Not to mention the entrepernuers who benefited from the event.

    It is congress that needs to get bills to the president's desk to sign. No one complained about Bush in the "Western White House" cutting brush while saying we were all going to die from terrorism. The Republicans are happy with doing nothing and obstruction as they think that it will negatively affect the president more than it will them. They will have a big surprise over the next few elections.

    September 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. PA Voter

    It is a huge economic boost to host the Olympics. We lost the 2012 Olympic bid, so why sit back and let some other nation get it? People here are looking to fault find for anything he does or does not do. As for "get to work" - first you complain that he is trying to do too much, then you complaint that he's doing too much. Can't have it both ways. Also, the President has been to the UN for the meeting last week and just left Pittsburgh for the G20 summit. What do you mean "get working". All he does is work on the economy, healthcare and defense issues.

    September 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. FOX News fans are hungry for lies

    Having the Olympics in the U.S. would be a boost to the economy and help create jobs. The return the country could get for this investment of the president's time would be great. Finally, a president who can see the big picture.

    September 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Chris

    Oh God, more narcissistic behavior from the Chosen One. Well, I guess since everything is going so swimmingly in our country and world, why not be the first president to attend these meetings.

    I don't think I've ever seen such a display of self-love than with our Annoited One.

    How about Iran, Afghanistan, Healthcare Reform, Recession, Joblessness, etc. to concentrate on and stop worrying about being the first president to make the pitch on behalf of our country. Obama is a joke!!!

    September 28, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Jeff B.

    This guy needs to be schooled on how to be presidential.

    September 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. KL

    Ok, so let me get this straight, during a time of an almost unprecedented economic downturn, our president feels the need to use tax payer dollars to go on a trip to Denmark to sell the committee on the idea of a Chicago Olympics?? Please tell me their paying for the use of the plane and all other travel expenses.

    September 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. gigic

    is this is vital to our country (not to mention the world)...because???

    i wish he'd pay more attention to more important and certainly pressing issues.

    i voted Obama in and i certainly still have 'hope' that he will do what he said he is going to do. still waiting for the troops to come home...still amused at the fact that instead of taking down the patriot act, his administration is actively trying to reinstate it.

    i find his PR campaign, which now resembles more of a rockstar tour, ridiculous.

    September 28, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Tia

    Well it's good to know that Obama has nothing else to worry about besides traveling at taxpayer expense to try and convince the Olympic Commitee that Chicago is a good place to hold the Olympics.

    Seriously, with all of the violence in Chicago you think there's a snowballs chance in hell of the Olympics being there? The IOC isn't composed of insane people, unlike the Whitehouse, and they aren't going to award the Olympics to a city that they would likely get killed in.

    September 28, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. CC

    Hmmmm.........doesn't have time to work on the military issue in Afghanistan because domestic issues.....hhhmmmmmmmmmm......... YET, he has time to continue his publicity tour (2-3 x's the previous 2 presidents, right, in front of the camera), trip to pitch the Olympics... hmmmmmm. Now, if it were ANOTHER US city......would he whisk off to pitch it?! OR........does he has some backs to scratch in Chicago???

    September 28, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Ren from Baltimore

    The heads of all the competing countries will be there as well. What the heck is wrong with you people?

    You do realize how many dozens and dozens of trips W took to his ranch in Texas, his brother's in Florida, his dad's in Maine, his buddies in Arabia...not to mention the dollars spent sending our troops to Iraq??

    Let Obama work for our country. With folks like you naysayers working against it, we need all the positive help we can get.

    September 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Veronica

    This is fantastic! An Olympic games in the U.S. will bring alot of money into our economy.

    In case people don't know, the IOC foots most of the bill for the costs of preparing for an Olympic Games, not Chicago or the Fed. So any country/city that hosts makes an enormous profit from the games. Not to mention the construction and service jobs it will create...local businesses will benefit as well.

    Obama knows what he's doing..most of you that are replying to this report have no clue what goes into being a President. You don't realize that attending this meeting IS work, since the games will help our economy.

    September 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Ann

    what a joke

    September 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. EB

    I love how comments put all "republicans" into one basket, unpatriotic??? I'm not sure how it's unpatriotic to want the pres to focus on things that are directly affecting our country right now.

    I agree that having the Olympics here would boost the economy... for one state... what about the rest of the country?

    September 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Wake Up

    Olympics HAS NEVER made money in my lifetime. Do research before you post ridiculous comments. They put cities in decades of debt and empty structures. Another ploy for Obama and Chicago politics to get jobs and power. Check out our chicago papers. Politicians friends already have property that is going to be purchased for the olympics....

    September 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. rachel

    My question is He wasnt gonna go so he was sending michelle now that he is goning why does she still need to go? He needs to stop campaigning. I bet his kids miss him. Since he has been in office probably at least 2-3 times a week he has been out of DC or out of the country.

    September 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. CC

    Yes, there was plenty of footage from Pres. Bush that was......humorous and sometimes I was a little embarrassed for him. BUT, please.........the media lovefest for Obama doesn't show the ones he has!! I'm sure there aren't as many........but the lovesick media protects their Obama!

    September 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. nadeem

    Hello people!! He is not Prez Bush- the man will be multi-tasking on Air Force 1 and not out-to-lunch 24/7. Gone for 1 day and he will bring the Olympics back with him. The man is doing it all, and saving our country. Republicans need to show that they are actually patriotic and support this bid.

    September 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    One would think that as citizens we would be glad to have a President that is looking hither and tither for opportunites that would boost our economy. A President that in spite of everything else he is multi-tasking still finds (creates) the time to see what is out there to help America. He is going full speed on all 12 cylinders; hasn't dropped the ball and is still taking on more. McCain would've been dead and buried by now from a heart attack. And yet there are clueless righties out there questioning why he is trying to bring the Olympics to the USA. It is too simplistic a concept to even attempt to explain. Here's a clue: JOBS.

    September 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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