Chicago 2016: Oprah to travel to Copenhagen

July 22, 2010 10:13:58 AM PDT
Chicago is getting a big boost in its bid to host the 2016 Olympics: Oprah Winfrey is heading to Copenhagen next week.Just nine days from learning whether Chicago will host the 2016 Summer Games, ABC7 has learned that Oprah will be in Copenhagen next week for the city's final pitch to the International Olympic Committee before it selects the host city.

Oprah will accompany first lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Daley and two dozen Olympians.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Oprah to travel to Copenhagen
READ THE PRESS RELEASE: Oprah Winfrey to Travel to Copenhagen with Chicago 2016 Delegation
REPORTER BEN BRADLEY'S BLOG: Going for the Games

Oprah's star power and iconic status is global and that influence is exactly what the Chicago delegation wants to land the 2016 Games.

Mayor Daley's version of a dream team to represent Chicago for next week's final Olympic push is coming together.

"It's a great impact for us. She has done so many good things. We're very honored that she is doing this. She doesn't have to do it. It says a lot about her, Chicago and the United States of America," said Daley.

Oprah said on Wednesday, "I love and believe in Chicago, and I think it would be the perfect host city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

How she delivers that message to the International Olympic Committee next week is not being revealed.

"She doesn't strike me as someone who just sort of sits idly by and her career hasn't been made of that. I'm sure she's going to be involved and active. But folks just have to tune in to see how she's involved," said Kurt Summers Chicago 2016.

After the 2008 Beijing games, Oprah highlighted her Olympic spirit by taping a show with Team USA at Millennium Park.

In April, the IOC's evaluation commission was in Chicago and Oprah attended an evening event with them.

"When we had the delegates here visiting Chicago all the IOC members knew her, she was talking to their family members. She is a great salesperson for this country and Chicago," said Daley.

One Chicago icon who is not going, as of right now, is Michael Jordan. But Oprah will certainly have company. Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Olympian Bart Connor and the families of Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe are all schedule to make the trip to Copenhagen.

Chicago is up against Madrid, Rio and Tokyo.

ABC7 and abc7chicago.com will provide live coverage from Denmark on October 2, beginning with Chicago's presentation and news conference. That will be followed by the International Olympic Committee's vote and the announcement of the 2016 host city.

PRESS RELEASE FROM CHICAGO 2016: 

Oprah Winfrey to Travel to Copenhagen with Chicago 2016 Delegation

CHICAGO (September 23, 2009) -- Chicago 2016 announced today that Oprah Winfrey will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the bid committee's final presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on October 2, as part of the official delegation.

"We are very honored and excited to have Oprah Winfrey travel to Copenhagen," said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. "As a member of our community and as someone who understands and demonstrates the value of helping others, she embodies the spirit of so many Chicagoans and is truly an emissary for our bid and for the city of Chicago."

Ms. Winfrey has supported Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in a number of ways, including attending the City Night event during the IOC's Evaluation Commission visit to Chicago in April. She also hosted Team USA on The Oprah Winfrey Show following the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, where she taped her show in front of thousands of fans in Millennium Park in the heart of downtown Chicago. The show aired around the world as the season premiere on September 8, 2008.

"I love and believe in Chicago, and I think it would be the perfect Host City for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Winfrey.


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