By Tom Degun in Chicago

September 12 - Chicago are set to be missing another one of their heavy-hitters for the last push next month to host the 2016 Olympics as Michael Jordan (pictured) seems certain to join United States President Barack Obama and not make the trip to the Danish capital for the final vote.

The basketball icon, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, had been expected to fill a similar role to the one that David Beckham did for London four years ago when they were awarded the 2012 Games at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Singapore.

The England international footballer met with several IOC members, most of whom asked for a signed shirt, which Beckham sent to them after the final vote.

Jordan is arguably the best-known basketball player in history having led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles during a professional career which stretched from 1984 until 2003 and in which he scored 32,292 points.

He holds the NBA records for highest career regular-season scoring average [30.12 points per game] and highest career play-off scoring average [33.4 points per game].

In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN.

Jordan, who was yesterday inducted into the Basketball Hall of Ceremony at a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts, has recorded a series of messages that have been played to the IOC but has no plans to travel to Copenhagen to personally support the bid, it seems.

Jordan also failed to attend the recent United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame dinner in Chicago, a fund raiser for 2016 bid, even though the 1992 Olympic dream team on which he played was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the dinner.

Patrick Ryan, the chief executive and chairman of Chicago 2016, said: “I have no reason to believe he [Jordan] will be there but he hasn’t said no to us yet."

Chicago could now ask Oprah Winfrey, the best-known and best-paid television personality in the world, to travel to Copenhagen to support their bid alongside the First Lady Michelle Obama, who it was announced last night will represent her husband at the IOC Session on October 2.

Ryan said: “If we need her, she would come."

Winfrey has been a high-profile and enthusiastic supporter of Chicago's bid, including entertaining the IOC's Evaluation Commission when it visited the city in April.

She said: "I just don't know a of a cleaner friendlier more sophisticated, cosmopolitan has everything city than this city."

Winfrey's public support for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Games was evident when she kicked off her new season last year with the medalists from the Beijing Summer Games.

She has vowed to do anything she can to help them in the last few weeks, including travelling to Copenhagen, where Chicago's rivals will be Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Winfrey said: "I'm not sure yet but if I'm needed there, that's what I will do."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected].

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September 2006:
Chicago not weakened by Barack Obama absence claims Ryan
May 2009: Jordan appearing in TV adverts for Chicago 2016
April 2009: Jordan declares support for Chicago 2016