Oak Brook, Ill. (July 25, 2008) - Friday, at the Junior Olympic Skills Competition in Chicago, McDonald's along with U.S. Olympic wrestler Patricia Miranda announced the selection of five children to represent the U.S. as McDonald's Champion Kids. Kamaile Aluli from Hauula, Hawaii and Abigail Muesse from Winder, Georgia will travel to Beijing to experience the 2008 Olympic Games, joining 200 other McDonald's Champion Kids from around the world. Chisu Edwards (Morristown, NJ), Cameron Loftis (San Jose, CA) and Emily McGuire (Broken Arrow, OK) will be treated to an exclusive tour of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"I'm amazed by the participants today and their embodiment of the Olympic ideals of mind, body and spirit," said Miranda, the first America woman in Olympic history to receive a medal in women's wrestling. "As an Olympian, I know the excitement these kids will experience as they visit either Beijing and the Olympic Village or the U.S. Olympic Training Center."
Kamaile Aluli, Abigail Muesse, Chisu Edwards, Cameron Loftis and Emily McGuire were selected to be McDonald's Champion Kids through their involvement in the McDonald's-sponsored Junior Olympic Skills Competition and submission of a 100 to 200 word essay on what makes someone a champion. Essays were reviewed by a judging panel of McDonald's executives and were judged based on creativity, composition and overall theme.
The McDonald's Champion Kids program was created as part of the company's commitment to children's well-being. In addition to engaging young people in activities that encourage sport, fitness and fun, the program provides children with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that celebrates their accomplishments both on and off the court.
"For forty years, McDonald's has proudly partnered with the Olympic Games, and each year, we continually strive to create programs that capture the Games' unique spirit, personally engage our consumers worldwide and promote the Olympic ideals," said John Lewicki, U.S. Marketing Director. "We are honored to give this special opportunity to the five children involved in the U.S. McDonald's Champion Kids program, all of whom exemplify the values of sportsmanship and teamwork."
Beyond the McDonald's Champion Kids program, McDonald's has activated additional elements to demonstrate their commitment to the Games:
- McDonald's is the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games, with four locations at the Games serving favorite McDonald's menu items alongside international menu items.
- McDonald's Champion Crew will feature 1,400 best-of-the-best McDonald's restaurant employees from around the world - three from the United States - to serve the world's best athletes, as well as coaches, officials, media and spectators at the Olympic Games restaurants. To celebrate their skills and the shared Olympic ideals of excellence, teamwork and being the best, a special Big Mac® building competition will take place where McDonald's will award their first "medals" of the Games.
- Packaging in McDonald's restaurants feature U.S. Olympians Tyson Gay (track and field), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), Donny Robinson (BMX racing), Ryan Lochte (swimming), Dwight Howard (basketball), Patricia Miranda (wrestling), Melanie Roach (weightlifting), Tatyana McFadden (Wheelchair racing) and Marlon Shirley (paralympic track athlete) to inspire kids.
- FacetheGlory.com, a U.S. consumer web site launching August 5, will give consumers the opportunity to upload their face onto an Olympian's body as they participate in various athletic activities, providing a fun, interactive experience for kids and adults.