Top U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Games Hopefuls Expected to Participate in 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit

Feb. 01, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
Top U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Games Hopefuls Expected to Participate in 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit For Immediate Release February 1, 2008 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-The U.S. Olympic Committee expects 110 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team hopefuls to participate in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit, April 13-16, in Chicago, Ill., as the organization announced the preliminary athlete participation list today for the four-day event. Headlining the group of athletes is swimmer Michael Phelps (Townson, Md.), a six-time Olympic gold medalist from Athens, and his coach Bob Bowman; track and field standouts Allyson Felix (Los Angeles, Calif.), Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Texas) and Sanya Richards (Austin, Texas); as well as U.S. Women's National Team soccer athletes Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.) and Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). Among the 87 athletes currently confirmed to participate in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit are 38 who have previously competed in an Olympic or Paralympic Games, including 25 medalists. Other athletes participating will be two-time Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez (taekwondo/Sugar Land, Texas), 10-time Olympic medalist Gary Hall, Jr. (swimming/Phoenix, Ariz.) and modern pentathlete Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.), attempting to make history by competing in her fourth Olympic Games in three different sports. Paralympic stars Jessica Long (swimming/Baltimore, Md.), Marlon Shirley (track , field/San Diego, Calif.) and Iraqi war veteran Josh Olson (shooting/Salem, Ala.) will be on hand as well. The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit will also include 2008 U.S. Olympic Team coaches including Mike Krzyzewski (men's basketball), Davey Johnson (baseball), Pia Sundhage (women's soccer), Mike Candrea (softball) and"Jenny"Lang Ping (women's volleyball). Other athletes expected to participate include a large contingent from USA Gymnastics as well as three to four USA Softball players. Attached, please find the Media Summit Athlete Participation List as of Feb. 1, 2008 About the 2008 U.S. Olympic Media Summit The U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit is a four-day opportunity for print, broadcast, internet and photo journalists to conduct interviews and photo sessions with more than 100 of America's top Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls just four months prior to the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The format of the U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit allows reporters to conduct interviews during press conferences, roundtables and special television/radio interview sessions. Photographers will also have the opportunity to photograph selected athletes. The U.S. Olympic Media Team Summit will begin on Sunday, April 13, with media registration, a media tour of the proposed Chicago 2016 venue sites and opening reception. The event concludes Wednesday, April 16 at 4 p.m. Credentialing , Hotel Reservations Credential applications are available on the USOC's media-specific website under the media credentialing icon. Access the accreditation area directly by clicking on the following link: MEDIA SUMMIT ACCREDITATION. A special block of rooms has been held at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago. You can make hotel reservations within the USOC's accreditation area or by clicking on the following link: HOTEL RESERVATIONS. To obtain the special media rate through the Palmer House Hilton, media must book a room by March 13. For more information, please contact the USOC's Media , Public Relations Division at (719) 866-4529.