September 28th, 2009
02:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to make personal pitch for Olympics

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Confused in San Francisco

    So Iran is testing it's missiles, unemployment is at 10%, health care and climate change are struggling and our President is spending his time (and our money) campaigning to hold the Olympics in Chicago?? I am so confused. Wow...

    September 28, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. ltran

    Does he have anything else to do ?

    September 28, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Confused in San Francisco

    Not to mention how much the Olympics cost the tax payers. Wake up Mr. President. You have bigger fish to fry!

    September 28, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. EJ in Texas

    the Olympics in Chicago? Please NO! with the current crime rate in Chicago the young people there may wind up being killed on the streets like th eyouth are at the moment. Plus the cost is too much...Atlanta paide dearly for it.

    September 28, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Theresa

    Heavy handed, as usual. Obviously, he has secured it already for his Chicago mob friends. He would not risk a perceived failed attempt.

    September 28, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. What?

    Nice way to waste taxpayers money taking this trip.
    Why not let the diplomats over there handle it?
    Be a heck of a lot cheaper then spending millions to fly you and your wife there. What with security, fueling etc etc.

    September 28, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Chris

    While I support the President in all his initiatives, I think in this case he needs to let the First Lady run this one!!!
    I need him here working on getting Health Care Reform Past!!!
    Oh and I'm a Die hard Democrat!!

    September 28, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Lee

    We knew he would not let us down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 28, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Marine

    Hope he stays in Europe!

    September 28, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. joseph

    The United States' foreign and domestic policy is going to hell in a hand basket and he is off to bring the Olympics to Chicago so that his Democratic cronies can get all the billion dollar deals that will come their way.

    He just finished that pathetic appearance at the UN acting as the opening act for Chavez to "dis" former President Bush. Imagine a President appearing at a high level forum passing out blame to his predecessor as a precusor to Chavez coming on to talk diparagingly about the former President of the USA.

    America – welcome to the Third World. I have some of our carbon credits to sell you.

    September 28, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. jpspec

    It is time to rent out Obama's White House Office since he is never there.

    September 28, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. jules sand-perkins

    I'm glad to find one more project on which I can agree with Obama.
    My first reaction was that he has much more important things to do in Washington, but the trip will take only one day.
    I would love it if Chicago, where I lived in the late 1950s, gets the Olympics. So would Obama, obviously.
    This is a good thing he's doing.

    September 28, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Babs

    Why aren't they sending Sarah Palin?
    This is certain to upset many Republicans.
    Go Obama!! Get those Olympics and bring job growth to Americans.

    September 28, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Brian

    Go to bat for America, Mr. President!

    September 28, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Amazed daily

    Like he has nothing better to do ? Wait, I'd rather him busy himself with this than his fervors work at tearing our country apart piece by piece. Bon voyage baffoon.

    September 28, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. John G

    Chicago getting the Olympics doesn't lower my taxes, get work for my unemployed friends, fix health insurance for anyone or do anything to bring our troops home. But I suppose as long as the Presidents corrupt friends back in Chicago can profit off of this, it can't be all bad right?

    September 28, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Cynthia

    I am sorry, but there are far greater issues for him to put his time and energy into. He said about a week ago that the Acorn scandal was not that important. I think the Acorn scandal is more important than him traveling to Denmark to try and woo for the Olympics.

    September 28, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Cindy PA

    What else would you expect from the teleprompter president. We’re losing jobs and unemployment is the highest it’s been in 26 years, the economy is a wreck and he’s taking a trip/vacation, what a loser. The Democrats / liberals better be prepared for loses in 2010 and 2012, in 1994 historians say the Democrat loses was a slaughter; the 2010 and 2012 election cycle is going to be a massacre. No one is going to vote for these Democrats / liberals.

    September 28, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. G. Howard

    And just WHO is going to pay for this trip? The taxpayer or Chicago?

    September 28, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Jay

    Is this a joke? This guy is making Jimmy Carter look good.

    September 28, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. Audrey in VA

    Hmm.. this could very well be the first time Obama stands before an international audience and doesn't feel obliged to bash his own country.

    September 28, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Bob

    All I can say is that the City of Chicago had better be footing the bill, and not the United States Government. He isn't representing the U.S., but his own personal interests in his home city.

    September 28, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Gerald

    Once again an un-presidential move by Obama and a waste of our tax dollars.

    September 28, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. Nancy

    Glad he thinks this is more important than trying to fix our country's problems. I think he just likes flying on Air Force One!

    September 28, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. coffic

    Next he will be going to Cannes promoting movies. This is SO unpresidential. He is making the U.S. a laughingstock and trivializing the office. His unprecedented number of television appearances hawking his programs, appearances on tv entertainment shows (he's not the first president), and still traversing the country in campaign mode all contribute to his unstatesmanlike image, and image is very important to all world governments. Why doesn't he stay in the WH and pinpoint all the waste in Medicare and Medicaid and get rid of it? Why doesn't he spend time with his top military people and get their views, firsthand, on Afghanistan and Pakistan? Why doesn't he draft a bill he would like about lobbyists? There is so much he could do, but, no, he is gallivanting, AGAIN.

    September 28, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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