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Maggie Hendricks

Who needs Pres. Obama? Chicago 2016 has Oprah

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While it's true that Pres. Obama is unlikely to go to Copenhagen to stump for Chicago's Olympic bid, the city has another resident who will be there. She may even carry more influence than the president. Who could that be?

Why, Oprah Winfrey, of course.

Winfrey, who tapes the show at the heart of her empire in Chicago, will head to Copenhagen as part of the Chicago 2016 delegation. She will try to sway the votes of the IOC as they decide between Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid for the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"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.

With every bid city looking to gain any edge they can, Chicago will have the advantage of a woman who can make an unknown author a best seller or can give an unknown doctor a television show. Winfrey's popularity doesn't stop in the U.S., as her show is syndicated overseas, as well.

She is part of a team that will include first lady Michelle Obama and 26 former Olympians. That group includes Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Bob Ctvrtlik, Gary Hall, Jr., Michael Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Nastia Liukin, Edwin Moses and Kerri Walsh.

This isn't the first time Oprah has shown support for the Olympic movement. After the 2008 Olympics, she hosted a show for the American Olympians in Chicago's Millennium Park.

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