USOC unveils plan for “America Supports Team USA” initiative

May 31, 2010

Nicole Saunches USOC

Click on the logo to go directly to the original article

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 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 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
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
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,

For more information on the “America Supports Team USA initiative,” please go to

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’s link to the website:

2010 U.S. Olympians, Paralympians Join Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity May 29 for Olympic/Paralympic Build Day

May 29, 2010

USOC May 26, 2010

Athlete Ambassadors Katherine Reutter, Steven Nyman among athletes giving back to community as part of Team for Tomorrow Humanitarian Fund

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams are joining together to share the spirit of the Olympic Movement on Saturday, May 29, during the Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity in Salt Lake City, Utah. Several Vancouver Olympians and Paralympians are participating in the all-day build, including Team for Tomorrow Athlete Ambassadors Katherine Reutter (speedskating, silver and bronze medalist) and Steven Nyman (alpine skiing). They will be joined by moguls skier Emily Cook, Paralympic skier Danelle Umstead and other 2010 teammates.

The May 29 build will be held at a construction site at 7440 West Humanity Cove (2820 West), Magna, Utah, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The athletes will be working with a group of volunteers on various construction projects. Members of the media are welcome to attend the build to capture interviews, photos and b-roll of the 2010 Olympians and Paralympians.

The Salt Lake City build will mark the third Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity. The first took place on Nov. 22, 2008, with members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the second took place on April 22, 2010, with members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team in Washington, D.C.

All of the builds are a part of the USOC’s Team for Tomorrow fund. Launched prior to the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Team for Tomorrow is the ongoing humanitarian relief effort of America’s Olympic and Paralympic Teams that consists of donations, volunteerism and other relief contributions to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

Team for Tomorrow provides a vehicle for America’s top athletes to gain an even deeper meaning out of representing the United States as an Olympic and Paralympic athlete. Through the fund, athletes also help further the Olympic ideals of goodwill, solidarity and peace by spreading Olympism to their hometown communities. Thirteen athletes from each winter NGB have become Team for Tomorrow Athlete Ambassadors, including Reutter and Nyman, serving as captains and advocates of the program and getting their teammates involved. To see the full list of Athlete Ambassadors, click here.

In addition to the build days, members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team have the opportunity to donate service hours to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in their local communities, and several have already signed up. They will be paired with a build site and scheduled for volunteer days this spring and summer. In 2008, hundreds of volunteer hours were donated to Habitat for Humanity by members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams as part of Team for Tomorrow.

It appears Travis Jayner and Alyson Dudek may be joining Katherine for Habitat…

US Short Track Ladies – Out and About…

May 27, 2010


Olympian @alydudek toss the pitch at the Brewers home game on 5/11/10


With St. Louis Cardinal, @katreutter readies for the first pitch of the game!


A happy Allison Baver at the Utley All-Star Animal event in Philadelphia.

Posted on twitpic by US Speedskating. To see more great photos posted by USS (including Shani Davis at the White House…lookin’ sharp Shani! ….too bad the photo isn’t… ),
go here:

To follow these young lovelies on Facebook, Twitter, etc look to the boxes at the right for their links.

Fil-Am Olympian JR Celski Unsure of Next Olympic Bid

May 26, 2010


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Such a talented skater – and it sounds like J.R. won’t be competing this year. Kinda makes me a little sad… But I’m happy he will be taking this opportunity at Berkeley. Can’t really pass up that opportunity now can he?

Best of Luck J.R. in all your endeavors.

Apolo Anton Ohno Pictures: Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular 2010 Red Carpet Photos and Pics

May 26, 2010


Apolo Anton Ohno Pictures: Apolo Anton Ohno arrives on the red carpet at the Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular at the Century Plaza Hotel on May 23, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

The Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular has been heralded by the Los Angeles Times as the premier sports awards dinner in the country. This exciting charity event was established in 1986 in response to the promise of genetic research leading to the understanding of numerous genetic diseases found in children as well as adults. The Sports Spectacular has raised over $19 million to benefit the life-saving work of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Genetics Institute. The Institute’s focus is to provide expert consultation and cutting edge research to find new and improved methods of diagnosis, prevention and treatment for all types of genetic disorders, including mental retardation, dwarfism, cystic fibrosis, deafness and malformation syndromes, as well as common diseases of adulthood, such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. The event also benefits the Sports Spectacular Fellowship Endowment, which supports the training of five research Fellows in various medical fields at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Photo credit: Tommaso Boddi / PR Photos

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… is it just me? …or does AAO’s ‘halo’ seem a bit askew???

Kyle Uyehara

May 20, 2010

Photo by Jerry Search

Lori has already posted about this on BB, but this is such GREAT news, it really deserves a mention here!

Kyle Uyehara has been invited to train with the National Team in Salt Lake City and I’m sure this is going to be a great opportunity for him.

I’ll bet he’ll be missed at SCSSA, and by his friends and family. (Although it looks like he’ll have plenty of friends in SLC from Southern Cal who are already there) Go get ’em Kyle!

Congratulations and Best of Luck to Kyle this season!

Kyle is also a Rocker Fund Skater. You can read more about him here:

…and here:

The REAL Simon Cho…

May 20, 2010

Photo from Simon's Twitter page

Simon has just started a Tumblr page. I have to agree with the Magazine editor. Simon IS very amusing! (…and this coming from an ‘older’ woman who finds the musings of most teen-aged males … well, ya know where I’m heading with that…)

Equally amusing is the quick witted repartee between him and the other skaters on twitter, that always adds a chuckle to my day. (And who couldn’t use that?)

But Simon is also right in saying you can’t delve too deeply into your thoughts with a sparely worded tweet.

I look forward to reading Simon’s blog, and I’m sure you will to.
Go here for his introduction into the blog-o-sphere:

…off to add more links to the right side of the page. So who/what have I missed in the ‘links’ department?

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