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. ggb

    another pitch to spend tax dollars we do not have!

    September 28, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. gAUgia

    Mr. President, we have a potential nuclear Iran, economic disaster, troops in Afghanistan who are waiting for your answer on reinforcements and you think it's more important to travel to Denmark to pitch a corrupt city for the Olympics. It is disgraceful to waste taxpayer money and neglect your duty as commander in chief this way.

    September 28, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Virginia Mom

    Whoa... Iran is firing missiles, the commander of our troops in Afghanistan just revealed that he has only spoken with Pres. Obama once in the last 70 days, and yet Obama is clearing his schedule to make a pitch for the Olympics? How about securing our national safety before security our national sports venues?

    September 28, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. Dave in Ohio

    This man continues to run away from his real responsibilities.

    September 28, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Rob

    Well, since apparently everyone in Europe goes ga-ga over Obama (mainly because he isn't leading them), chances look pretty good for Chicago.

    On a side note, how about this little piece of info:

    "Fearful that they're losing ground on immigration and health care, a group of House Democrats is pushing back and arguing that any health care bill should extend to all legal immigrants and allow illegal immigrants some access, The Washington Times reported on Monday."

    Hmmm, guess maybe it wasn't Joe Wilson who lied, huh libs?

    September 28, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  6. tiff of lithia springs

    Good for him!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go Prez.

    September 28, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. floridian

    With all that is happening in the world - Iran and its nukes, the economy, Honduras, Afghanistan, Iraq, food shortages in Africa, and the like - you would think this guy would stay home and work the issues. Does one really think that it is the responsibility of the President of the United States to secure the Olympics? What is it that makes him always want to be in the spotlight? Is he that insecure?

    September 28, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. sergx

    We are in the midst of global turmoil and this guy is wasting tax payer money to fly to Denmark to pitch the United States for the Olympic games??????? They should be coming to us. or at least save the tax payers some money and use livemeeting!

    September 28, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. Bill

    Oh, how exciting. Will he blame George Bush if Chicago doesn't get the nod? That seems to be his M.O.

    September 28, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. Pat F

    Nothing but a Chicago pol – that's our prez. Small time, all the way.

    September 28, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    I don't know but not a big fan of getting them here. Don't get me wrong, it'll be nice and pleasant to have the Olympics here and let's be fair, it can help boost our economy, assuming it'll still be in bad shape. But is gonna get crowded! We're not like York or L.A where they have so much space around that it can be flexible for their own respective cities. We are one bunch up city in a tiny space, that's the reality. I do believe if for example, my boy's stock and what I mean by stock is approval ratings will be good in the long term, then it can be beneficial and help out our city but if he's just another sitting duck, then my money's on Rio De Janeiro or Tokyo. I like Madrid, I think they can do something but I'll put my money on Tokyo because they have more to do than us, even Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. Arguably two of the biggest cities in the world compare to our city here in the states so those two I will say are the frontrunners.

    I think Tokyo will probably take in the end and is a HOT place for tourists so it makes it more reliable and solidify their position. They're good at that but Rio De Janeiro got those beaches baby! That's another hot place and as for Madrid...well, the only thing hot they got there is the Torros celebration every year, which is kind of hot, not a bunch but a bit. And as for us...well, the only thing hot we got is...actually, I don't know, LOL!!! :)

    Unless you like Al Capone and the crazy history we got here then I guess that's hot, LOL!! :)

    September 28, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. proud conservative

    are you kidding me? With everything else going on in the world, Obama can find nothing better to worry about than the Olympics being held in his precious Chicago!!! What a baffoon!

    September 28, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. PeterJ

    Good idea, it's not like he has bigger, more important issues to be dealing with...

    September 28, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. JM

    He has not time to meet with Gen. McCrystal while our troops are in harms way but has time to travel for this nonsense.....go figure. Will the city of Chicago reimburse the tax payers for the travel expense the President will incur?

    September 28, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Scoobydob

    I'm usually pro Obama, but this is STUPID indeed in light of all the really important issues going on.

    September 28, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Press hard Mr. President.

    September 28, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. indy 08

    Go Chicago all the way. This will be a fight with Rio to the end

    September 28, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. Dotty

    How ridiculous! You can go try to get the Olympic games – but you cannot make a decision about our troops needed in Afghanistan. You are not at all who you said you were when you were running for election President Obama.

    September 28, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. New Yorker

    Time for kickbacks.

    September 28, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. Not even for dog catcher

    No matter that a large group in "chi-town" don't want the Olympics there, oops, missed that story.

    Is this one of those more important things he needs to do INSTEAD of his watching where ACORN is spending my tax dollars?

    Would the liar in chief be doing this if this were somewhere ELSE BUT "chi-town"?

    We all know the answer to that and my tax dollars are going to pay for he and "shelly" and others to make this trip?

    This is the most brutally corrupt, one -sided and inept Presidency in uh, uh, h, uh, uh our nations history.

    September 28, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - I spend all day blogging, contribute nothing to society

    I guess health care, the economy, Afghanistan, etc. can wait. Give me a break. Probably trying to get "community organizing" added as an Olympic event.

    September 28, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. TM in Co

    I guess this would fall into the catergory of you have to spend money to make money. Hopefully he will at some point slow down the traveling. Afterall, it does cost the tax payers........................

    September 28, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. Matt

    Good to see what the President's priorities are... Hey, Obama, why don't you bring some of those trillions your Fed just printed. I'm sure that'll sway the vote!

    September 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. Chris

    I can't wait to see what type of spin the desperate Republicans put on this....

    September 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Bob in Pa

    Hope they have big wallets too, cause it won't be cheap.

    September 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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