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. RS

    Do any of you realize the huge boost in jobs especially in construction and infrastructure the Olympics will bring to the state of Illinois. If Chicago is awarded the olympics there will be an almost immediate and sustained influx of revenue and JOBS for the next 8-10 years while the city prepares for the Olympics not to mention to the HUGE boost to local businesses in the months leading up to the games. Do any of you remember the economic boost the games brought to Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta when the Olympic Games were held there. Why would the city of Chicago and the State of Illinois not want that ....Please People use a little common sense before you start typing your hate....

    September 28, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Diana

    Though I don't like the fact that he's not focusing on what's important in the country right now, I have to give him cudos. I think Blair did what Obama is doing and they got the Olympics. That would be great for our country and the economy in the long run.

    September 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. bob in LA

    The President is our Chief Cheerleader, but the timing makes this trip inappropriate.
    Let you wife go alone as your embassador on this one Chief!

    September 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. Ray

    That's right Mr Pres. Show these folks that you can do more than one thing at a time unlike our last President.

    September 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Are you kidding?

    Are you kidding me, does he ever stop to think before acting? He annouced this weekend that he wants to extend the school year and length of time the schools are open, sounds good on the surface but like with everything else....whos going to pay for it??, on Long Island I'm already paying too much in school taxes.
    How much is this little jaunt going to cost the US Taxpayers with the two 747's, two C-130's, fighter jet escorts, motorcades and security personell. This is just another foolish move from this administration. Did anyone tell him he is now representing the US and not just Chicago. If he really feels like throwing money away, I wish he would throw it my way.

    September 28, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. JP of Arlington

    This country is already deeper in debt that ever before and this clown wants the country to add another upteen billon to our debt so his home town gets to host the Olympics. Does Obama have any real idea of what his job is? Evidently he still thinks he's working for ACORN and pitching for the local community. 2012 can't get here soon enough.

    September 28, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Brandon Rivers

    Bigger issues? There are BIGGER issues in America? Which bigger issues? Something for him to speak about before you Republicans organize another tea party to bash him?

    Why do you all PRETEND to be concerned about what he does and how he handles issues? You are there to boo him for every decision anyways. Might as well plan on doing SOMETHING that will stimulate our economy in the future.

    September 28, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Kathy

    I assume that the bill for this trip will be paid by either President Obama or the City of Chicago...surely the American public will not be expected to pay for this presidential whim.

    September 28, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. xbrownd

    Dualistic thinking is the downfall of this country. People, the POTUS can do multiple things at the same time, and to think that he has to be in Washington or in the US to work on domestic issues is as uninformed as can be. I wonder if some of you have ever had to manage multiple important priorities at once. It's really sad that people are using every opportunity to pass judgment and not thinking beyond silly assertions of what someone should be doing. Do you have to be sitting in your office to get anything done? Can you work remotely? If you can, I bet the POTUS can given all the resources at his disposal. Grow up, and think about how the world actually works.

    September 28, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. PeterJ

    Rev. Wright to give the opening prayer if Chicago gets the Olympics??? I think it would be cool!!!

    September 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. notabushwhacker

    Community orgaznizer looking for work. Elected but not able to do the job, he spends taxpayer money making his face be seen on TV rather than get his job done. When will the boy grow up? He is no longer in Chicago eating at the ACORN house for losers.

    September 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Lisa

    This trip will take Obama less than 24 hours and the Olympics will create jobs and provide a boost for countless business small and large (construction, food, hospitality, travel companies, transporation, etc).

    September 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. Greg Pottstown Pa

    If he was pushing for them to be held in the US, I would not have a problem. I don't like the idea of a President pushing for one state especially if his friends will be the benefactors. He is supposed to help all the states not just the one that gives him blind support during his campaigns.

    Btw Just wondering what you think of the great unifier Obama? This country has not been this divided since the civil war.

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

    Are you serious??? Here he goes again, putting his 2 cents into something that doesn't need his attention. He's wasting all our taxpaying money to travel already-this is ridiculous. I wish I could afford all the luxuroius trips he and his family have taken since Jan.

    The only good thing about the Olympics being held in the US is stimulating the job market temporarily. Other than that, he needs to focus on priority things (health care, Iran and Afganstan).

    He only knows how to waste money and not really know the defination of "work". To him it means, all play and spend money and force others to do it for him~including making his decisions for him.

    September 28, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. W l Jones

    The Marine need a few good mens. Instead of talking show the president I am willing and ready to go..I did when young, at my old age still fit to go now. A heep people talk but a few knows the whole world nearly quite now the team working behind the seen.

    September 28, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Dan

    Wow...lots of extremely biased republicans around here. Seriously, do you not realize how enormously beneficial hosting an Olympic Games is? How much of an economic benefit it would have? And all I read is "why doesn't he stay in Washington...blah blah blah." You want to know why? Because he actually cares about this country, unlike most repubs, who only care about themselves and their rich friends.

    September 28, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Kim--Bethesda

    Having the Olympics will be good for the economy.

    September 28, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Diana

    The President could blow his nose and you people would criticize and say he isn't paying enough attention to important issues. How is this bad? I bet some of the same people complaining had no problem with Bush spending 1/3 of his presidency at his ranch.

    September 28, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Carl

    Just another example of Obama's big ego.

    September 28, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. martin

    This guy thinks he's a rock star. I waiting for Bruce Springsteen to do the opening act and for Obama to walk on water for the finalle.

    September 28, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Bluebonnet

    With Israel and Iran going at it with nuclear weapons, who in their right mind even thinks there will be any olympic games?? We'll to have a world. He needs to stay in the White House for a change (read Oval Office) and get some work done here for US!!! This country is in shambles and he's constantly campaigning!!! What a horrible choice for President he's turnied out to be!

    September 28, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Burns NH

    Time the wake up folks! Chicago will need a billion dollars to prep
    the city for this event. Guess who gets to pay the bill! Every tax payer in the country that's who. Big times for Union workers as they will be
    the only work force that will be allowed to do the constrution. The
    profits from an event of this nature will be big. The folks who will
    receive those dollars will not be the folks whose taxes went to make it
    all happen.

    September 28, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Renee

    I think this is positive.

    First of all, Obama needs to be visible outside of the country so this is a good opportunity. Most importantly, we need the money (from advertising, infrastructure, etc.) that the Olympics would bring. I think this is great.

    And please, do you really think Obama doesn't work while on trips like this? OF COURSE HE DOES. Don't be naive.

    And other Presidents have travelled more than he has. When he has travelled he has represented us well unless our past President that embarassed us repeatedly (there is plenty of footage to prove it).

    September 28, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Felipe

    How is it that when Bush took time to do other things, he was lampooned for wasting time, not focusing on what really matters. Obama goes to lobby for the Olympics and there isn't a peep. What a ludicrous double standard.

    September 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Jane wants the truth

    Has any city EVER made a profit from hosting the Olympics? Not that I can recall ~ it will cost more for security than they will ever make!

    September 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
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