Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and First Lady Michelle Obama attended a dinner Wednesday evening with about 300 Chicago 2016 supporters at The Admiral Hotel in Copenhagen.
Chicago 2016 chairman and CEO Pat Ryan was reportedly greeted with a standing ovation when he entered the room. He said, “you can feel the electricity in the air, you can feel the competition in the air. It’s just a great feeling.
“But the most rewarding experience of all (in this process) is when we are with our fellow Chicagoans and they are so committed to hosting the world and welcoming the world and showing off their city to the world…All of you have been so helpful to us because this is a team effort, but our team is the kind of team that has to keep growing and growing and growing, and that’s what’s happened”.
Winfrey said it is “beyond exciting because here we are, just hours away from a decision that could be a landmark in Chicago history. For us to be able to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games would be what my grandmother used to call our crowning glory. Something that certainly would be worthy of a brand new star on our Chicago flag”.
She added, “it’s tremendous that we are all here as we now sprint to the finish line on Friday with the best team captain and co-captain we could ever have”. Winfrey was referring to First Lady Michelle Obama when she said, “so it is my privilege to introduce one of our biggest supporters, our co-captain”.
Michelle Obama said, “as my husband would say, are we fired up and ready to go here?”.
During her speech she said, “when I looked at the bid initially, I was overwhelmed at what a beautiful concept was presented. Everything about this bid speaks to what the city has to offer. Using the lakefront…using the existing park structure to ensure we’re making the kinds of investments and will have the kind of leave-behinds that will benefit the city in the long run”.
She added, “….what excites me most about bringing the Games to Chicago, the impact it can have on the lives of our young people, and our entire community”.