Sept. 06, 2008, 9:10 a.m. (ET)

-- "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Launches its 23rd Season in High Definition (HD) -

CHICAGO - The 23rd season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" goes for the gold when it launches Monday, September 8, 2008 as more than 175 Olympic medalists gather together for an unforgettable hour.  Viewers will cheer as their favorites from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games take the stage at Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago's Millennium Park for a "Welcome Home Team USA" celebration for the record books!  A crowd of thousands will show Chicago's Olympic spirit as it bids for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Olympians including Michael Phelps, Nastia Luikin, Shawn Johnson, Dara Torres, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Lisa Leslie, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Jennie Finch and many more will be on hand to answer the questions on the minds of Americans: how does it feel to have achieved their Olympic dreams?  What does it take to be the best in the world?  What's next for these world-class athletes?  Then, Oprah will go behind the headlines for the incredible Olympic stories that you haven't heard. 

Plus, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will be presented in high-definition (HD) beginning with the season premiere and throughout the 23rd season.

The Olympic medalists participating in "The Oprah Winfrey Show" season premiere include the following:

Jeremy Cummings, Brian Duensing, John Gall, Mike Koplove, Terry Tiffee, Casey Weathers

Basketball (Men's)
Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd,
Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd, Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams
Basketball (Women's)
Tamika Catchings, Sylvia Fowles, Kara Lawson, Lisa Leslie, DeLisha Milton, Candace Parker, Katie Smith

Beach Volleyball (Men's)
Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers

Beach Volleyball (Women's)
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh

BMX Racing (Men's)
Mike Day, Donny Robinson

BMX Racing (Women's)
Jill Kintner

Boxing (Men's)
Deontay Wilder

Cycling (Women's)
Kristin Armstrong

Decathlon (Men's)
Bryan Clay

Equestrian (Men's)
Will Simpson

Equestrian (Women's)
Laura Kraut, Gina Miles

Fencing (Men's)
Tim Morehouse, Jason Rogers, Keeth Smart, James Williams

Fencing (Women's)
Emily Cross, Erinn Smart, Hanna Thompson, Mariel Zagunis

Gymnastics (Men's)
Alexander Artemev, Raj Bhavsar, Joe Hagerty, Jonathan Horton, Justin Spring, Kevin Tan

Gymnastics (Women's)
Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel, Samantha Peszek, Alicia Sacramone,
Bridget Sloan

Judo (Women's)
Ronda Rousey

Rowing (Men's)
Josh Inman, Marcus McElhenney, Dan Walsh

Rowing (Women's)
Erin Cafaro, Anna Cummins, Susan Francia, Michelle Guerette, Caroline Lind, Elle Logan,
Lindsay Shoop, Mary Whipple

Sailing (Men's)
Zach Railey

Sailing (Women's)
Anna Tunnicliffe

Shooting (Men's)
Walton G. Eller, Vincent Hancock, Jason Turner

Shooting (Women's)
Corey Cogdell, Kim Rhode

Soccer (Women's)
Nicole Barnhart, Shannon Boxx, Rachel Buehler, Lori Chalupny, Stephanie Cox, Angela Hucles, Carli Lloyd, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Heather O'Reilly, Christie Rampone,
Hope Solo, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner

Monica Abbott, Laura Berg, Crystl Bustos, Andrea Duran, Jennie Finch, Tairia Flowers,
Victoria Galindo, Lovie Jung, Kelly Kretschman, Caitlin Lowe, Jessica Mendoza, Stacey Nuveman, Natasha Watley

Swimming (Men's)
Ian Crocker, Mark Gangloff, Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen, Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak, 
Ryan Lochte, Aaron Peirsol, Michael Phelps, Peter Vanderkaay, Garrett Weber-Gale

Swimming (Women's)
Elaine Breeden, Caroline Burckle, Natalie Coughlin, Margaret Hoelzer, Katie Hoff, Megan Jendrick, Kara Lynn Joyce, Christine Magnuson, Christine Marshall, Lacey Nymeyer, Allison Schmitt, Emily Silver, Julia Smit, Rebecca Soni, Dara Torres, Kim Vandenberg

Taekwondo (Men's)
Steven Lopez, Mark Lopez

Taekwondo (Women's)
Diana Lopez

Track and Field (Men's)
Bershawn Jackson

Track and Field (Women's)
Allyson Felix, Shalane Flanagan, Hyleas Fountain, Monique Henderson, Sanya Richards,
Stephanie Brown Trafton, Sheena Tosta

Volleyball (Men's)
Gabe Gardner, Tom Hoff, Rich Lambourne, David Lee, Ryan Millar, Reid Priddy, Riley Salmon, Scott Touzinsky

Volleyball (Women's)
Lindsey Berg, Heather Bown, Kim Glass, Tayyiba Haneef-Park, Robyn Ah Mow-Santos,
Danielle Scott-Arruda, Stacy Sykora, Kim Willoughby

Water Polo (Men's)
Tony Azevedo, Layne Beaubien, Brandon Brooks, Peter Hudnut, Rick Merlo, Merrill Moses, Jeff Powers, Peter Varellas, Adam Wright

Water Polo (Women's)
Patricia Cardenas, Natalie Golda, Alison Gregorka, Brittany Hayes, Jaime Hipp, Heather Petri, Jessica Steffens, Moriah Van Norman, Brenda Villa, Elsie Windes

Wrestling (Men's)
Henry Cejudo

Wrestling (Women's)
Randi Miller

"The Oprah Winfrey Show" is partnering with corporate sponsors to help bring together this once-in-a-lifetime event.  Partners for the season premiere include United Airlines, The Hilton Family of Hotels and Bank of America, all of whom are also partners of the U.S. Olympic Committee and sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Team.
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" has remained the number one talk show for 22 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.*  It is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions, Inc. and syndicated to 212 domestic markets by King World and to 135 countries by CBS Paramount International Television. 

*Nielsen Cassandra Ranking Report - Nov'86 to July '99 and Wrap Sweeps, Nov '99 to July '08. Primary Telecasts Only.