Nicole Saunches USOC
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The 2010 campaign is set to commence on May 31 and run through July 31
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is preparing to launch its second year of the “America Supports Team USA” initiative, which capitalizes on the patriotic period between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July and provides Americans with opportunities to show their national pride and be part of the Olympic mission. The program will run Monday, May 31, through Saturday, July 31.
The campaign, which incorporates the tagline “Together We Win,” celebrates patriotism and raises money to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls. By further emphasizing the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams’ connection with USA around the most patriotic time of the year, the initiative allows the USOC to continue to bring programming to communities throughout the U.S. and support more Americans who want to pursue Olympic and Paralympic dreams. And new this year, people who visit http://www.teamusa.org will have the option to make a donation directly to a National Governing Body of choice (i.e. USA Wrestling), the USOC or U.S. Paralympics.
“As an Olympian who represented Team USA in Beijing, I would like to ask each and every American to make a donation to support Team USA,” said Olympian Cullen Jones (swimming). “The financial support and athlete programs provided to Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls are a critical component of Team USA’s success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
National Governing Bodies (NGBs) will also be heavily involved. “America Supports Team USA” will be featured at events such as: USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials, World League Volleyball matches, USA Track & Field’s Junior and Senior Track & Field Championships and Nike Prefontaine Classic, USA Field Hockey’s Women’s National Championships, USA Badminton’s US Open and Junior Nationals, and USA Taekwondo’s Junior and Senior Nationals. The initiative will also be supported in NGB publications and on their websites.
Major League Baseball teams have also supported the campaign. Several teams will run the “America Supports Team USA” public service announcement (PSA) at ballparks around the nation, and Olympians and Paralympians will throw out ceremonial first pitches at several ballparks in June and July.
Olympians and Paralympians featured in the PSAs and print advertisements include: Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Meryl Davis and Charlie White (ice dancing), Bill Demong (nordic combined), April Holmes (Paralympic track & field), Lisa Leslie (basketball), Evan Lysacek (figure skating), Marlon Shirley (Paralympic track & field), Apolo Anton Ohno (short track speedskating.), Lindsey Vonn (alpine skiing) and Seth Wescott (snowboarding).
“Like many non-profit organizations, fundraising is a critical element of our success,” said USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun. “The monies raised during this campaign will directly impact America’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls.”
How Can Americans Help?
There are a number of direct ways that fans can show their ongoing support for Team USA:
* Log on to http://www.teamusa.org and make a donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Paralympics or to a National Governing Body such as USA Wrestling.
* Text USA to 90999 to make a $10 donation
* Donate HHonors points or United Mileage Plus Miles
Where Does The Money Go?
Approximately 80 percent of the USOC’s operating budget goes directly to Athlete Support Programs. Below is an outline of some of the Athlete Support Programs offered by the USOC along with a brief description of each program:
Direct Athlete Support
Athletes who have demonstrated competitive excellence in important international competitions may be awarded Direct Athlete Support dollars, which includes tuition grants. The USOC Sport Performance Team works closely with the NGBs to determine how these dollars are allocated.
NGB Support Programs
The USOC aids NGBs by supporting services such as investing in state-of-the-art technology, specialized coaching and providing additional training camps and competitions.
Operation Gold Awards are designed to reward athletes for top place finishes in a sport’s most competitive international competition of the year. The award amount varies from $1,000 – $25,000 depending on the year, the athlete’s finish at the Operation Gold competition and whether the athlete competes in a sport/discipline/event on the Olympic or Paralympic Games program or on the Pan American Games program. Additionally, in non-Olympic and Paralympic years, athletes who qualify for more than one award automatically receive the higher award. At the Olympic and Paralympic Games, athletes are paid Operation Gold for multiple medal performances.
Elite Athlete Health Insurance (EAHI)
Each NGB receives, from the USOC, EAHI slots to distribute to elite athletes. Distribution of these EAHI slots is based on criteria that have been developed by the NGB and approved by the USOC.
Tuition grants are intended to help defray a portion of an athlete’s tuition costs, and in doing so, encourage athletes to further their formal education in preparation for lifelong career goals. Grant amounts range from less than $500 to a maximum of $5,000 depending on athlete performance history and availability of funds for the grant. Approximately $70,000 is dedicated to this program annually.
Partnership Support Makes It Possible
Team USA’s corporate sponsor family plays an integral role in each and every day of an Olympian, Paralympian and hopeful’s training. Through the ”America Supports Team USA” initiative, Team USA partners have created unique opportunities for activation beyond the 17 days of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Hilton Worldwide will promote the initiative with a HHonors Points Donation Program. HHonors points may be donated in increments of 10,000. Each 10,000 HHonors points donation equals a US$25 donation. One hundred percent the donations collected will go directly to support the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams.
United Airlines will support the initiative by promoting their Charity Miles program in Hemispheres Magazine and during in-flight programming. During the month of June United Mileage Plus members will be encouraged to donate their miles to Team USA.
24 Hour Fitness will raise awareness about the campaign posting “America Supports Team USA” web banners on the company’s website, http://www.24HourFitness.com.
For more information on the “America Supports Team USA initiative,” please go to http://www.teamusa.org
About the U.S. Olympic Committee
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the sole entity in the United States whose mission involves training, entering and underwriting the full expenses for the U.S. teams in the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. In addition to being the steward of the U.S. Olympic Movement, the USOC is the moving force for support of sports in the United States that are on the program of the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games.
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The initiative won’t launch until Monday, so I don’t see the Team USA donate button yet, but here is teamusa.org’s link to the website: