Fans began lining up at 6 a.m. on Saturday for a chance to snag free tickets to show’s season premiere featuring 150 U.S. Olympic athletes.
By noon, the line of Winfrey fans and U.S. Olympic supporters stretched nearly six city blocks in Chicago’s Millennium Park. The show will air Sept. 8 and include appearances by gold medalists Nastia Liukin, Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh, Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and members of the gold medal Women’s Basketball Team, cyclist Kristin Armstrong and fencer Mariel Zagunis. Also, silver medalist Jennie Finch & members of the Women’s Olympic Softball Team, the silver medal Women’s Water Polo Team, and more.
Tickets for the Winfrey’s tapings are usually available only by phone and nearly impossible to get, so fans were itching for the 2,000 seats up for grabs for the taping.
Winfrey’s Harpo Productions said the show is a “welcome home celebration” for the athletes and a chance to feature Chicago in the city’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Chicago is a finalist for the 2016 games along with Tokyo; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Madrid, Spain. The International Olympic Committee will choose the 2016 host next year.
Check out behind-the-scenes clips from today’s show.