With Chicago being in a tight race to secure the 2016 Olympic Games and the October 2 decision date looming, the Chicago 2016 committee may be about to get more help from the big guns in its arsenal- Oprah Winfrey and the POTUS.
There are also rumors that Chicago 2016 is trying to get Hall of Famer and Olympian Michael Jordan to make the trip as well. No word from His Airness yet as to whether he will do so, although he does support the bid.
“I’ve had some tremendous memories in my professional basketball career,” Jordan said. “But the memory of standing as a representative at the Olympics representing the United States is one of the proudest moments of my life. To step up on that podium representing your country—there’s no greater honor than that.”
As for Oprah, she stated in a recent interview from Toronto that she is open to the idea of going to Copenhagen to help Chicago sell its bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
There's some talk about it, and if I feel I can be useful there, then that's what I will do." Oprah said to the Chicago Tribune.
First Lady Michelle Obama and White House adviser Valerie Jarrett are heading to Copenhagen with the Chicago 2016 delegation for that October 2 meeting.
On that date each of the Final Four cities will get a final chance to impress IOC members and make their Olympic case after months of preparation and visits by IOC officials.
Each candidate city will have 45 minutes to present, followed by 15 minutes of questions. First up will be Chicago thanks to the results of a random drawing conducted before this meeting.
To secure the Olympic bid, a candidate city must garner a 51% majority of the secret ballots cast. IOC President Jacques Rogge has said this year's vote is too close to call, and the winner could be decided by a few votes.
Olympic bid watchers are predicting a tight race between Chicago and Rio. It's adding to the pressure for President Obama to help his adopted hometown cross the finish line and secure the Olympic Summer Games for a US city for the first time since Atlanta hosted the 1996 Games.
There are rumors the Prez is creating room on his domestic calendar to hake that trip and be available for the vote.
Even if he doesn't make the trip to Copenhagen, the White House says the president has been actively engaged in helping Chicago. He has not only reached out to IOC President Jacques Rogge, but sent letters to all IOC voting members, taped four video messages supporting Chicago's bid and made targeted phone calls to key IOC members.
That outreach will continue and probably intensify as the October 2 meeting date approaches.
During the Olympics rally recently held at the White House, the president stated a winning bid would not only be a success for Chicago, but the whole country.
"Chicago will make America proud," he said. "And America will make the world proud."