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. Dennis

    How much will he personally benefit if the Olympics are held in Chicago?

    September 28, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Karen

    Did he become president so that we could send him (and his family) to every country in the world? Really? How many days has he actually been out of the country since he became President? or maybe a better question is how many has he actually been here? Why doesn't he stay in D.C. and do some real work for the contry?

    September 28, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Richard

    We are in the midst of two wars, the Health Care debate, and the greatest economic turmoil since the Great Depression. The President should stay home and not waste tax payer money on this trip.
    The votes must already be lined up for Chicago, or the President would not risk going on a PR stunt of this kind.

    September 28, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Hmmm.....

    yes...anything for image and a positive rating. I would prefer more thoughtful and knowledgeable handson leadership rather than image making, remaking, restatements, lack of knowledge of details of his own exectutive orders. Stay home and stop deflecting attention form this countries real needs.

    September 28, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Mike

    nobama reminds me of the song "on the road again". Well at least when he is out of the country he is not screwing things up as usual. Just more waste of taxpayer money.

    September 28, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Andy From Canada

    Good for President Obama! This should bring in much needed money to the U.S. economy and create a lot of jobs.

    September 28, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Donna

    Obama is clearly crossing a line here. He remains silent or pensive on Iran when the world is expecting the President of the United States to weigh in but yet he can throw the weight of his presidency behind an IOC meeting to bring in the $$$ for his home state? This action reflects poor decision making and someone clearly in over his head on the world stage.

    September 28, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. TCM

    He'll need to appoint an Olympics Czar first thing.....I really am seeing that the American people are waking up about this guy. His shallowness towards being an American, and proud of this country, is showing more and more....

    So, instead of dealing with Iran, N. Korea, and the real problems of the worlds, he's using our tax dollars to try and "persuade," the olympic committees to bring the games to one of the most down-trodden, crime ridden cities in the US. Why is that way? Well, that's attributable to Obama....

    What we need is a president!

    September 28, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Nick-o

    Good! And Chicago needs a multi-billion dollar makeover anyway.

    September 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Manny

    Obama reminds me more of a used car saleman that the Commander-in-Chief. Doesn't he have more pressing things to tend to?

    September 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Tex

    One wonders how much he will get "under the table" from his Chicago cronies.

    September 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Gentwelve

    President Holywood needs to concentrate on things that really matter. Like how he is going to prevent his termination in 2012. This guy is as amusing as a broken record. Old and stale!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Wanda

    WOW another vacation for the countiry's leader and his family. Anyone surprised????? But don't forget even though WE have paid for a lot of trips for the first family most AMERICANS are struggling just to put food on their tables. But thats ok because he is soooo appreciative!?! NOT!!!!

    September 28, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. Chris

    Uh, shoudn't the president be focusing on more pressing issues here in the U.S. instead of going to make a pitch for the olympics. I'm sorry, but I am starting to sense this president is falling way short of the leadership that is required of the president of the U.S.

    September 28, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Lisa from Tampa

    This is TERRIFIC! Go President Obama.

    September 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. AP

    It's good to see the President lobby for the 2016 Olympics to be in Chicago, however had it been any other city would this President do the same. I highly doubt it.

    September 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Rob

    Your kidding right?? With everything going on he's going to push for the Olympics for Chicago??? The Commander and Chief is putting troop deployments on hold to push for games?? Why doesn't he draft the Health Care bill he wants, put it in writing! Isn't this an issue for the State politicians to bring these things into their state? Talk about buyers remorse, if he wanted to do this then he should have stayed in Chicago politics and left the running of the country to others.

    September 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Ariana, VA

    I voted for President Obama, but I think this is lame. There is A LOT of work to do, why is he wasting time on this????

    September 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Regressive Party Refugee

    And the haters jump in about now. Never mind this will bring jobs and dollars to the USA. The haters will raise a fuss because it isn't a tax break for the wealthy, and the fact that Obama is pushing it.

    September 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. American man

    Does this guy even know were the Oval Office is ? What a jerk.

    September 28, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. Debbie

    The primary responsibility of our President is NATIONAL SECURITY!

    This bafoon plays golf every Sunday, runs around making assinine apology speeches, and in every way possible destroys the fabric of our country. But, he hasn't the time, energy, experience, or will to protect our servicemen? He's only spoken to his appointed general 1 time in the last 70 days? He's allowing our troops to wade through death without a strategy? He's not interested in victory, but only results? Hurry, take over health care, cap and tax, hug some trees, but don't take care of the men and women fighting overseas?

    I no longer have words to express my hatred.

    September 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Classy 57

    This man doesn't have enough on his plate??!! Give me a break - we've got far more important matters for him to handle than to travel with his wife to pitch an event years away. At the rate he's pulling this country down, there won't be a USA when it comes round to thse Olympic games.

    September 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Harold

    If successful, there will be more jobs in the area which could benefit those in nearby cities who are willing to move; not to mention help to the hotel and travel industry; why should we let all that money go somewhere else in these hard times;

    September 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. Dave in Ohio

    I guess it makes sense, he'll be looking for a job in 2013.

    September 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Wake Up

    Ya, so he can get jobs for his cronies, and forever in debt this city and state. Go read Chicagoansforrio dot com.

    September 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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