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

    Uh.......Is this really a good use of Taxpayer Dollars?

    September 28, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  2. jaye

    Having the Olympics in Chicago would be great for our country!!

    September 28, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. reeba

    Still on the campaign trail – - and this time back to his stomping grounds !!
    You know he is not going to limit his "speech/reading" to the Olympics – - he will have to make a pitch for the health care as well.
    He says "I may live in Washington these days, but I've called Chicago home for nearly 25 years," – - he is hardly ever in WA, and yes lived in and became part of corrupt Chicago for many of those 25 years........ and never inluenced by the corruption (ya, right) – - like not being inluenced by Jeremiah Wright.

    Corruption became the 'norm' – - a way of life for him, which explains why he does not see three-quarters of the corruption exposed more and more all the time. (ACORN, Daly mayors for years, etc)

    September 28, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Mike

    Maybe you people should get off your hands and do something in the world, instead of commenting on CNN about how outraged you are about the president. Who has their priorities screwed up? Outrage Outrage Outrage. It's an old, tired mantra from the truly lazy, worthless people in this country...

    September 28, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. bach

    Think of all the jobs this would create for folks. Anything he can do to get the summer olympics here would be wonderful!!! He is thinking as usual about the people in this country. Awesome job!

    September 28, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Matt in MN

    Can anyone tell me what changed between last week and this week?

    Last week the stories were about how Obama would NOT be going to Denmark to stump for Chicago because he was too busy, and had too many more important things to look after. That he would be sending Michelle in his stead.

    So what has changed? Did all those more important issues magically fix themselves last week while he was attending the UN meetings? How's the "Health Insurance reform" coming? Afghanistan? Unemployment? The US economy? All resolved and better?

    Can't for the life of me figure out the complete 180 from last week.

    September 28, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. Dan

    People complaining about this really need to get a grip. The president is attending to all of the other issues. The man works 24-7–is never allowed to do anything else?

    Bush took more vacation than any other president. But that was OK I guess, huh?

    The more you rant about Obama the dumber you look as he continues to move this country in the right direction.

    September 28, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. ANGIE IN PA

    This is good if we get this this will be great for OUR ECONOMY

    September 28, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Sarah

    One more thing for the party of "NO" to react to. They refuse to go along with anything that is good for the United States and its people. Why are Republicans so unpatriotic?

    September 28, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Blutarski

    Awesome, now he can repay all those corrupt politicians he is beholden to, for getting him elected to the Senate and then springboarding him to the Presidency. The handouts will be flowing like water going over Niagra. Show Chicago the money.

    September 28, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. greenliz

    This will have a huge impact on our economy. Not only will it great jobs. It will be huge boost to have all the money pouring in when people actually come to the games.Plus once all these venues are built they will attract other sporting events to them which will also bring in money. I think its a great idea and I believe President Obama is doing something that he believes will be highly beneficial for the entire country.

    September 28, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. The black Spider

    I have some doubt about him being successfull pitching Chicago.
    Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities in the USA. Like or not.
    Millions of violent gangs, corruption and pauvrety. Chicago needs a police clean up before consedering hosting the olympics.
    But GOOD LUCK Mr president

    September 28, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. david

    big mistake to have made obama potus. he has no focus, priorities are way off. democratic congress rubber stamps obama, whatever he wants and whatever he wants to do. democratic congress has yet to criticize obama on anything. at the very least, voters should vote democrats out of congress this coming election. obama is out of control. obama would rather concern himself with the olympics than give his general an answer on troop numbers for afghanistan. obama is a complete waste.

    September 28, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Anonymous

    i am glad that we have a president that is going an extra mile to make these small things happen. This is going to be great for America and a lot of unemployed people are going to be employed by this. But I know we still would complain to anything this guy would do. Long live the president a

    September 28, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    This is all part of Obama's jobs creation effort.

    September 28, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Farrell in Houston

    Hate and jealously of our President and First Lady is the reason for complaints. Get over it people and get well.

    September 28, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Robert B.

    What in the world does this have to do with being commander-in-chief ? The "community organizer" is at it again, helping his own home community with our tax dollars, while millions of us are out of work and the country is deep in debt and on the verge of federal bankruptcy, and Iran is about to fire off missles....Robert/ Alabama

    September 28, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Nancy

    I do not agree with the President traveling at our expense to push for the Olympics to be held in Chicago. It is a waste of our valuable tax dollars.

    September 28, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. SK, Massachusetts

    I am glad that this president is willing to go extra mile for the country. I like that he sees all small things as important as the big ones. But I know, we would still complain on anything that he does.

    September 28, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Kimberly-MI

    Go get it President Obama bring it here

    September 28, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. E.C.Coleman

    OH....OH....OH..............

    HOW COULD WE NOT REALILZE THAT THIS IS THE VERY

    REASON THAT "OPRAH" IS TRAVELING WITH MICHELLE?

    (This was a news mention that I happened to see online....some website.....)

    Now, it all makes wonderful economic sense, and WE know WHY this trip is going to cost a BUNDLE of TAXPAYER $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!

    September 28, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Jeff in Omaha

    What one needs to remember is that in addition to being head of government, the President of the United States is also head of state. Head of state participation at this point in Olympic campaigning seems to be the norm now - if I recall correctly, the Japanese emperor is going and the prime minister is not sure yet, and I don't remember about the Spanish PM but the king will definitely be there. For our head of state not to show up could be a potential occasion for embarrassment and conveys a message of half-hearted support from the national government.

    September 28, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Mike

    Call me crazy but the President of the US is probably pressed for time every single day. It seems to me that Obama should be using this boondoggle time to address real issues facing Americans: the war in Afghanistan, the economy and Iran's nuclear threats. These should be the top 3 priorities on the President's to-do list every day!

    September 28, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Bob Kole

    This is supposed to be the most technical savy president ever, what he can't burn a DVD of his pitch? Or use Skype? Heck I read recently that Skype was used in an US Courtoom to get the testimony of a person in India!!

    What the old saying if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen? Wonder if this is what Obama is doing

    September 28, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. I guess Obama is Cool

    Well, I guess that's that. :-)

    September 28, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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