Oprah Winfrey concludes her 25-year run as host of her daily talk show on Wednesday. ThePostGame.com looks back at some of Oprah's most memorable athlete interviews.
Tiger Woods -- Days after changing golf forever with his dominating win at the 1997 Masters, a 21-year-old Tiger sat on Oprah's couch with his father Earl and spoke about he was uncomfortable being labeled as an African-American. "I'm just who I am," Woods said to Winfrey. Tiger then told the world the word he had coined for his diverse ethnicity: "Cablinasian."
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield -- The former boxing champs hadn't seen each other since that infamous night in 1997 when a crazed Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield's ear during their heavyweight bout in Las Vegas. They reunited 12 years later on Oprah. Tyson had been on the show a few days earlier to talk about his four-year-old daughter, who died in an accident involving a treadmill. On that show, prompted by Oprah, Tyson called Holyfield to offer an apology for the ear-biting incident. Holyfield called it "tepid" and asked for a joint appearance where the apology could be offered in person. It came later in the week. This time, Holyfield accepted. "I forgave him," he said. "I was ready to move on."
Chris Witty -- During the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, the American speedskater appeared on Oprah via satellite as part of a long-distance visit with her parents, who were still in Wisconsin. When the interview was done, Witty was supposed to get a ride arranged by Oprah's producers that would take her back to the speedskating arena to practice four miles away. When she got to the street there was no car. Since catching a cab in Nagano during Olympic week isn't like hailing one in Times Square, she had a big problem. Witty and a speedskating official called Oprah's producer in the States to try and get a car but the producer was unable to help. Eventually, Witty ran into the street, stopped a cab and pleaded for a ride back to the arena so she could practice. A stressful, traffic-filled ride later, Witty made it back, a little late, but no worse for the wear. She ended up winning a silver and bronze medal in Nagano. Four years later, she'd take home the gold in Salt Lake City.
Kevin Garnett -- The high school star took the short trip from Farragut Career Academy to Harpo Studio for a 1995 taping on young stars with great potential. In a few months, he would become the first high school player taken in the NBA draft in 20 years. At the taping, Illinois' Mr. Basketball was described by the Chicago Tribune as "this 6-foot-11-inch, all crazy and happy, loosey-goosey teenager cracking jokes like some combination of Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy."
Serena Williams -- In a 2010 appearance, the tennis star told Oprah about her second passion: nails. Serena was studying to become a licensed nail technician and used Oprah as a test subject. During the pedicure they gossiped about all the normal things -- money, men, relationships and appearing on the cover of magazines.
Laveranues Coles -- The former New York Jets receiver broke his silence about the three years of violent abuse he suffered at the hands of his stepfather. None of his teammates or coaches, and few of his friends, knew the story about how Coles was sexually abused at gunpoint for years before police arrested his abuser and sent him to prison for three-and-a-half years. In the years that followed, Coles never spoke to his mother about the abuse, something that changed on a 2005 afternoon with Oprah. He made the decision to speak about the incident for the first time in public so other victims of molestation would be encouraged not to suffer in silence. There wasn't a dry eye in the studio.
Michael Jordan -- Jordan returned to the United Center last week to surprise Oprah during her grand send-off and received the biggest ovation among a star-studded lineup that included Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Madonna. The six-time NBA champion hugged the talk show host, said he loved and respected her and wished her the best of luck. Oprah and MJ: the two biggest stars in Chicago history?
And the one who didn't ...
Michael Vick -- It always figured that the Michael Vick redemption tour would hit the couches of Oprah. That was the plan this February, until Vick's handlers canceled the appearance. At first they said it was because Oprah had a playful bet with CNN host Piers Morgan about who would book Vick first. Eventually it was reported that Vick was worried about a backlash if he had to meet face-to-face with the adoptive owners of the dogs he abused. In a statement, Vick said he had to "postpone" the taping. He never appeared on the program.
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