For a city that has never held an Olympics, Copenhagen will become an Olympic capital of sorts next week when it hosts an international meeting to decide the site for the 2016 Summer Games.
Thousands of people – including government leaders, heads of state, royalty, sport officials, athletes, sponsors and media – are expected to attend the International Olympic Committee meetings from Oct. 1-9.
"On some days, it's going to be crowded," said Niels Nygaard, president of Denmark's national Olympic committee.
The main focus will be the vote for the 2016 host city on Oct. 2. Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo are locked in a tight contest that could be decided by just a few votes.
Each candidate is bringing a high-power delegation to impress IOC voters.
Tokyo should host the 2016 Olympics because it has the most compact set up, the most experience and will be the best stage for the world's athletes, one of Japan's top sports figures and bid backers said Thursday.
Mikako Kotani, an Olympic bronze medalist in synchronized swimming and the head of the athletes' commission for the Tokyo 2016 bid committee, said she has big hopes that Japan's capital will beat out Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid when the final decision is made on the host site next Friday.
"We have the experience to make the competition go smoothly," she said in an interview with The Associated Press, noting that Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Games. "We will be using some stadiums and venues from 1964. ... It will be very special for the Japanese athletes and for the younger generation."
Kotani, who won her bronze in Seoul in 1988, said that Tokyo's plans would have all the athletes staying within 10 minutes of their competition venues, a factor she expected will boost performances by allowing the Olympians more time to focus on their sports and less on traveling.
"As an athlete, this is very important," she said.
There's gold in Chicago 2016's delegation. Lots of it.
Michael Johnson, Nadia Comaneci, Nastia Liukin and Jackie Joyner-Kersee are among 14 Olympic and two Paralympic gold medalists who will travel to Denmark next week in support of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee will choose from Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo on Oct. 2.
"It's hard for me to be unbiased about this," said Bart Conner, a Chicago native and double gold medalist in gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics. "When you look at the plan and the spectacular city and the legacy plan and the convenience for the athletes against the backdrop of the city, on lots of levels, Chicago gets it and understands what the Olympics is about."
Star power could be key in a decision that is expected to come down to a couple of votes, and Chicago will have no shortage of it. First lady Michelle Obama leads the delegation, and she'll be joined by 26 Olympians and Paralympians. President Barack Obama is still trying to decide whether to appear personally on behalf of his adopted hometown.