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. R.

    can he do anything except campaign?

    September 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. Enough

    He's a salesman and could sell snake oil in today's world.

    September 28, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Oberia Bounds

    How can anyone consider having the Olympics in Chicago when it will cost millions to build the facility that th US dosen't have. We are struggling to pay SS and medicare when we would be wasting money to build this place. Also the authorities in Chicago cannot control the thugs and gangs there. Just this morning a 16 yr. was beaten to death. Obama needs to stay home and take care of things here. We donot want the Olympics here in US. We are having a hard time equiping our soldiers with weapons and he wants to spend money on games! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HE THINKING~

    September 28, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. Tara

    Having the Olympics here will be a boost to our economy!

    September 28, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. smacn

    I can hardly put into words how disappointed I am in OBama for backing one of the most corrupt mayors in the country. Mayor Daley and his den of thieves will run our city into the ground if given the opportunity to hold the olympics here in Chicago. Daley is nothing more than an egomaniac with a credit card that says "TAXPAYER" on it who is drunk on power. The people of Chicago DO deserve the olympics, but they know when they can and can't afford it.

    I count this as a very big strike against you MR OBama.

    September 28, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. djean

    Okay, sorry, but I think Obama has more important things to do.....plus this is an opportunity for a loss of face. The United States is one among many worthy applicants, it is not the most superior.
    Send Biden. If Michelle and the kids want to have fun at the Tivoli, just take a little vacation – I doubt any other president can or would want to surpass shrub's record for days off.

    September 28, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. pj

    He's wasting our money going to beg for olympics???

    September 28, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. JB

    I hope the IOC is paying for the trip!

    September 28, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. DickM

    If Obama needs to make an unprecidented trip.....go to Afganistan and see what's going on to help in your decision making process.

    September 28, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. DJC

    This is a ridiculous use of the President's time with so many significant issues facing Americans. How about a trip to see our troops overseas?

    September 28, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Well, this will certainly be a test of whether he is feeling the Euro-love.

    September 28, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. fat man

    We have enough problems to worry about.

    September 28, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. austinrob

    This seems really low priority to me. I love the Olympic games as well, but other things are more pressing at this time. I wonder if he were'nt from Illinois if this would be receving the same amount of attention from him? I really really don't like favoritism.

    September 28, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Lots of free time

    So now Obama has some free time on his hands? I thought that going to the IOC was not an option because the healthcare debate was too important. Guess healthcare isn't too important anymore for Obama. Perhaps Obama's next 3 years as president will be spent like his 2 out of 3 years as a Senator.... traveling and not doing any work for the paycheck paid for by the American people. And, just how much money is being wasted with his one day trip to the IOC?? Perhaps he is looking to taste some new beer for Beer Summit 2 with Iran and N. Korea.

    September 28, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Darlene Hagen

    That man is trying his hardest to rule the world, even to the insignificant things like the Olympics. It's good he stays out of DC so much, since he does not know how to be president. He only wants to make speeches and travel around with his worshippers falling at his feet.

    September 28, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. CK

    ah, dirty chicago politics back at work. I'm sure there are no other pressing matters that need to be addressed at home more than winning the chicago olympic bid. Yes, 10% unemployment, poor health care, falling education standards, huge gov't spending.... all less important

    September 28, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  17. Mike

    Health care, the Wars, the Economy...... lets just drop everything and go to Copenhagen like nothing else matters. This guy must have A.D.D. or something.

    September 28, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Margaret Peters

    He and Michelle never miss an opportunity to take a vacation do they?

    September 28, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. obummer, 1 and done

    Anyone surprised?

    He needs to be in the spotlight and believes that everyone will bow to his wants. After all, look at how people bow to him in the US. Why wouldn't it hapeen everywhere.

    He is the greatest person ever in his mind.

    September 28, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. mtm

    Trip to Denmark to pitch for the Olympics = patronage. Daley taught Obama well.

    September 28, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Joe Stafford

    He should stay home. He cheapens the office when he runs off to the IOC at the same time he has grave economic and national defense problems at home. He seems to like Air Force One, but he gets easily bored with the executive duties of the office.

    September 28, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. Katie

    Chicago would be a terrible place for these games. Not only is this City too congested and the roads are arcaic, the airports are straight out of the 1920's. But the most troubling thing about Chicago is the public corruption. I am so glad I no longer live there. If the olympics are there I will really feel for the citizens of that city. Forget about getting around anywhere. Chicago would be a horible choice and I think President Obama should have stayed out of this one.

    September 28, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. Elizabeth in Texas

    Go Get 'Em! This would bring so many jobs to the Midwest in hospitality, travel, construction, etc. Thank you!

    September 28, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  24. Not Surprised

    Not surprised that "no other U.S. president has ever attended an IOC meeting." Historically other presidents have had alot of work to do. All this president does is jet in and get his hands into too many cookie jars!

    September 28, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. Amazing

    I am sure he can "sell" them on it, he's the biggest salesman around, trying to sell us his crappy healthcare plan, even though the majority of us say NO, we don't want it, he keeps on pushing. He ought to be selling timeshares, he's doesn't hear NO.

    September 28, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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