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. Doug

    The United States is broke, the State of Illinois is in debt and this is local chicago politics. I campaigned for this President to help us not to reward his local political leaders. Last time he went to europe it cost millions in expenses, reports of over 500 people went with him.
    He is losing me everyday now, he is nothing but a political leader. He is only playing the president on tv.

    September 28, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  2. terry, va

    What is this guy doing? He is doing everything but what a president should do. He isn't doing anything on the economy, health care or the war. The idiots in congress are going back to items that Obama has said will not be a part of the healthcare bill, ie: coverage for illegal immigrants. He needs to get a handle on what is going on and show some leadership!! He is straddling the fence in Afghanistan. He said he had his plan back in March to win the war. But now is looking for a way to cut and run. He hasn't talked to the commanding general there but one time in the 70 days he has been in charge. His request for additional troops has been buried for over a month. Obama do your job or go back to Chicago!!!!

    September 28, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. Island girl

    Revenue will be generated from this.

    September 28, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. mjm

    Is that Obama in that picture? He looks terrible. He looks stressed out....and short.

    September 28, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Hugo

    So glad at a time when our Nation is in a state of complete and utter turmoil that the Obamaman can find time to jet off to Copenhagen with Michelle and pitch Chicago "Thug Capital of the Nation" to the Olympic committee. I praise Allah every day that he has sent us the masterful one for our leader. I can't wait to give him my pay check, when I get a job that is....

    September 28, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. JB - NYC

    Will there even be an Chicago in 2016? Maybe "The ONE" should be presidenting and not campaigning while Rome is burning.

    September 28, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. Give me a break!

    Let some one else win the Olympic bid. There are other countries who so deserve a win. The US has hosted this event so many times in recent history. Just because Obama's hometown is up for a chance doesn't mean the world should fall all over him to let him be happy. He's gone outside his realm of job description by pushing for the Chicago win. No sitting president has done this before. It isn't the POTUS's job. Obama has more than enough work to keep him busy without having to delve into international sporting events as well as his recent traipse into NY state government. We have healthcare and the economy to take care of....remember?

    September 28, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Sara in the South

    So, let me get this straight. When asked about Accorn a couple of weeks ago, Mr. President said that he had more pressing issues. I guess this was one of them.

    September 28, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. ken

    as someone who lives in chicago and voted for obama, i hope we don't get the olympics. the majority of chicagoans don't want the games here. the political landscape is too corrupt. the only people wanting the games are people that have ties to the chicago political machine that will profit from them. doesn't the president have enough on his plate right now instead of lobbying for the games?

    September 28, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. PA Voter

    Stand back! Here come the Crazies to spin this into some liberal, Socialist move to further spread leftie propaganda.

    September 28, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. Mississippi Miss

    Hopefully, he will spend some of his travel time to come up with a strategy for Afghanistan. Since he didn't want the troop recommendation from General McCrystal until "We get the strategy right". Is it his version of 'dont-ask-don't tell'... to delay a request from his General on the ground, because he knows it contains an increase in troop levels? According to his own ego, he has saved us from the brink of economic collapse, is saving the planet, is creating a vast humanitarian health care expansion, gaining respect for America from the worlds great leaders (a.k.a thugs and dictators), and with all of this push and focus... he can't listen to his generals, until he gets his strategy right? Apparently, he needs a 'listening' Czar.

    I hope that President Obama will do some serious planning on how to
    defeat our enemies abroad with great and mighty resolve. Getting the olympics for Chigago.. yes that is apparently job one. really really important and very presidential thing to do, lobbying.

    September 28, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. tony

    What!!! And he complains about CEOs of corporations taking trips that don't seem relevant to the corporation. Who is paying for this trip? If Chicago wants to pick up the tab, then maybe it's OK, but it opens too many conflicts with how the democrats complain about CEO perks but then allow perks for themselves.

    September 28, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. jeremy.....Dallas...Texas

    Way to go Mr President. Bring business home. Keep it up. Good luck.

    September 28, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. Mark from Louisiana

    What a waste of his time. His generals are waiting on him for a decision to send them the troops they need, the economy sucks, congress wants to give subsidies for health care to illegals and he's jetting to the other side of the world to try and push for the Olympics in Chicago, the most corrupt city in America?
    A true leader would have his priorities straight, not wasting his time and our tax money on getting an event in Chicago, the armpit of America.

    September 28, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. jayjohn

    Our economy is in trouble , a general awaits an answer about more
    troops for the afgan war , iran testing missles , and Obama's most
    important issue is to get the olympics for Chicago in 2016. And doing
    it on taxpayers money.

    September 28, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. amazed

    Amazing! The president can make a trip on our tab to pitch a city for the Olympics but can't make a decision to support our troops in Afghanistan when the military leaders have requested reinforcements for almost a month. Some commander in chief. I guess his priorities are his cronies in Chicago and not the troops.

    September 28, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. cramit

    Will he take over the olympic's too?

    September 28, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Joe in NJ

    Which basically means that if the Olymipics are held in Chicago, all of Obama's cronies and cohorts stand to make a lot of money.

    September 28, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. G2

    Good, I hope that Chicago gets the Olympics. Finally an Obama plan that doesn't involve raising taxes, deficit spending, government bailouts or government taking over the private market. He's been a disappointment, if he brings home the Olympics at least there will be one thing about President Obama that we can be happy with.

    September 28, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Chicago? really?

    how about some other spots, not just your old stomping ground

    September 28, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. John Canada

    What is little BARRY going to do? He is an incomptent arrogant Liar that has gotten nothing accomplished in his first 9 months in office.

    September 28, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. Sheri

    What?!!!! He needs to come to my home town and beg for jobs! I am laid off and now my husband, the major bread winner was laid off, I have a special needs child, I have serious medical problems that I was finally managing and a chlid who is in college. I can't afford to travel to the local job office much less the Olympics in Chicago!!!

    September 28, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Robin

    It is so good to see that Obama's priorities are in order.

    Iran testing missles that have the capacity to reach US military bases in the Middle East and parts of Europe and General McCrystal requesting more troops in Afganistan to be told maybe 2010.

    It's so refreshing to see Obama prancing off to Coppenhagen with his wife and Oprah on Air Force One on our dime. Here is the payback promised his Chicago cronies.

    September 28, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. Real Dem Abroad

    Great news, hope his support helps the bid. Chicago would be a fantastic host for the Olympic games.

    September 28, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. Rose

    Here we go again, spending tax payer dollars to benefit his home town of Chicago. I can't help but wonder if it were a different city in the U.S. would he make this kind of pitch. He needs to stop spending on useless trips. Bet he takes the whole family for another vacation including his sister. This guy is robbing the American taxpayers.

    September 28, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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