Oprah welcomes 175 U.S. athletes to Chicago for Olympic pep rally
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Oprah Winfrey rallies for Chicago to host 2016 Olympics with tribute and welcome home to U.S. athletes
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley -- with wife Maggie -- attends his first Oprah show
"American Idol" winner David Cook's serenaded U.S. Olympic athletes with his "The Time of My Life" song
Oprah Winfrey kicked off a new season of her daytime talkshow Monday in true Olympic form -- showing after more than two decades on television, she's still at the top of her game and remains a natural at what she does.
During last month's Olympic hoopla, I figured it'd be a given to see superstar swimmer Micheal Phelps cross Winfrey's stage this season. Winfrey did just that -- and trumped it -- flying in over 175 U.S. Olympic athletes to take stage at Millenium Park in what was Chicago's biggest pep rally to date to lure the 2016 games to Chicago and pay tribute to this year's athletes.
While Phelps overshadowed many other athletes at this year's games, that wasn't apparent during Monday's show, which was careful to pay tribute to the athletes achievements as a whole.
Who did Winfrey want to interview more than any other athlete and Phelps? His mother, of course.
"I don't think I'll ever come down to Earth," Debbie Phelps told Winrey from the audience. "It was an exciting time, it was invogorating ... it was just incredible."
And the debut of Winfrey's 23rd season was just that -- exciting and incredible. Winfrey and her team of producers continue to raise the bar on producing a show that still lures millions of Americans to their TV sets each day. If Monday's show was any indication, Winfrey still hasn't reached her peak, a sign of remarkable things to come in the remaining three seasons of her show.