The Taste of Chicago has more than just great food and good music this year.
The Road to Rio tour will make its seventh appearance of nine cities at the iconic event. Since last summer, Road to Rio has toured throughout the country promoting Olympic athletes and the summer games in Rio.
“The tour in itself is really designed to bring excitement of Paralympics and Olympic games across the country,” David Giglio associate director of marketing activation for the U.S Olympics Committee said.
The tour, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance, began in July 2015 in Philadelphia and will conclude this September in Birmingham, Alabama.
“They have a big set up here,” Mary May, public relations manager of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in Chicago said. “They have some athletes that are going to be coming out.”
The U.S athletes making appearances throughout the Taste include David Bodia (diving), Tucker Dupree (swimming), Kelley Hurley (fencing), Courtney Hurley (fencing), Jessica Long (swimming), Joe Berenyi (cycling) and Misty May-Treanor (beach volleyball).
Each athlete will participate in Q&As, autograph sessions and meet and greets.
There are different athletes that have made appearances at each of the nine cities throughout the tour. According to Giglio, it depends upon the Olympian's availability especially as it comes closer to the Rio games with training in full swing.
Chicago is the second largest city where Olympians are born with a total of 272 athletes. Los Angeles is No.1.
“Chicago is just a great Olympic city,” Giglio said.
The Road to Rio section at the Taste of Chicago also has a zip line, a replica of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio and other interactive Olympic activities such as the long jump, high jump and high dive. Fans can also experience virtual reality experiences trying pole vaulting, diving, beach volleyball and gymnastics.
“To be part of one of largest festivals with Taste of Chicago it’s really a no brainer for us,” Giglio said.