Chicago 2016 officials announced Wednesday that Oprah Winfrey is going to Copenhagen for the bid committee’s final presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of the official delegation.
Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “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”.
The Sun Times reports that sources confirm in the days leading up to October 2, when the host city for the 2016 Games is elected, Oprah will be called on to be part ambassador, part lobbyist, meaning she’ll be attending dinners, cocktail parties and other gatherings with the IOC.
Mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard told the Sun Times, “she’s been a partner with us on this endeavour for a long time. So, it makes sense that she would see it through to the end – or perhaps the beginning.
“If she has decided to make the trip it obviously makes our bid that much stronger. Is there a person alive who doesn’t know and respect Oprah? It’s a huge boost. She’s a person who enjoys international acclaim. There’s only a handful of people who can say that”.
Also 26 Olympic and Paralympic athletes will be there for Chicago’s final presentation to the IOC. The athletes reportedly will attend many Chicago events and some will be part of Chicago’s delegation and presentation team.
Ryan said, “more than 2,500 athletes support Chicago 2016 and we have utilized their knowledge in all aspects of our bid – including insights into venue planning and athlete accommodations in our proposed Village, as well as to promote our bid across the United States and the world”.