The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Oprah's Olympic-Sized Season Premiere

By L. Stolpman in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 3, 2008 8:13PM

Chicagoist headed to the taping of Oprah's Olympic-themed season premiere this morning, along with thousands of other Oprahphiles. The big O welcomed 153 Olympians from Team USA, which was quite a spectacle, but she only interviewed the usual suspects: Michael Phelps (who was then joined briefly by Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak and Garrett Weber-Gale), Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin (who talked about reading The Secret, ugh), the men's basketball team (only Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd said anything—and I don't think Lebron James was there), the men's volleyball team, Dara Torres, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, and three members of the women's 4x400 relay (Sanya Richards did most of the talking). And then American Idol winner David Cook sang, which...was weird.

Tapings of TV shows are never as fun as they look, and this was no exception—the television and Oprah aspects of the show were largely unspectacular. What was exciting, though, was the athletes rushing in through the crowd, high-fiving everyone and grinning from ear to ear. We had a bad case of Olympic fever this year, but even the least invested among us would have gotten a kick out of just how thrilled everyone seemed, athletes and fans alike.

Today's one big surprise? It's the first time Mayor Daley has attended a taping. Crazy! The show airs Monday, September 8. —ML