President Barack Obama reflected on Chicago’s unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics during an interview that was published recently in New York Magazine.
Obama flew to Copenhagen in 2009 with the bid committee, because “everybody thought that if I flew out there we had a good chance of getting it.” But Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting, and Rio was later awarded the 2016 Games.
“I think we’ve learned that IOC’s decisions are similar to FIFA’s decisions: a little bit cooked,” Obama said. “We didn’t even make the first cut, despite the fact that, by all the objective metrics, the American bid was the best.”
Obama used the Olympic bid anecdote as an example of how some Republicans were determined to see him fail and become a one-term President.
“On the flight back, we already know that we haven’t got it, and when I land it turns out that there was big cheering by Rush Limbaugh and various Republican factions that America had lost the Olympic bid,” Obama said. “It was really strange, but at that point, Limbaugh had been much clearer about wanting to see me fail and had, I think, communicated that very clearly to his listeners.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used Chicago’s unsuccessful bid to critique Obama during an appearance at the Center for the National Interest in Washington in April.
“Do you remember when the president made a long, expensive trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, to get the Olympics for our country?” Trump asked, according to the Chicago Tribune. “And, after this unprecedented effort, it was announced that the United States came in fourth. Fourth place.
“The president of the United States making this trip, unprecedented, comes in fourth place. He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment. We were laughed at all over the world as we have been many, many times. The list of humiliations go on and on and on.”