Colorado Springs, Colo. - In a few short months, nearly 300 of America's top Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia to represent Team USA at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is commemorating that journey with a program entitled Making Team USA, providing an inside look at what it takes to become a member of America's Team. The program showcases various elements of the journeys taken by Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls in their quest to don the red, white and blue at the 2010 Games.
The Making Team USA program recognizes athletes as they are nominated to the USOC for inclusion on the team. The 2010 U.S. Olympic Team will ultimately be made up of approximately 225 athletes representing eight winter sports, and the 2010 U.S. Paralympic Team will be comprised of approximately 60 athletes from five sports. Each sport and discipline has their own unique qualifying process over multiple months. Over the course of the 100 days leading up to the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver, the USOC will engage consumers in the Making of Team USA and celebrate each athletes' nomination on TeamUSA.org. The first athletes to be nominated to the USOC for inclusion on Team USA 2010 were the men's and women's curling and wheelchair curling teams. These 13 athletes will be officially recognized by the USOC on Nov. 4 at Rockefeller Center.
On Nov. 4, the USOC and presenting sponsor Hilton will co-host the Making Team USA: 100 Days to Vancouver celebration at New York's Rockefeller Center to kick-off the final 100 Days to the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The event is open to the public and the media, and will include:
- Appearances by Olympians, Paralympians and Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls
- A winter festival showcasing all eight Olympic winter sports
- Sports demonstrations, autograph and photo sessions
- An official unveiling of Team USA's parade and podium apparel by Polo Ralph Lauren and Nike.
- An official ceremony celebrating the nomination of the Men's and Women's Curling Teams to the USOC for inclusion on Team USA 2010
Fans unable to attend the celebration can watch video highlights on TeamUSA.org.
"As a proud supporter of the U.S. Olympic Movement, Hilton Worldwide is thrilled to present the Making Team USA event in Rockefeller Center," said Jeff Diskin , Senior Vice President of Global Customer Marketing, Hilton Worldwide. "Hilton strives to assist athletes all along their journey to qualify for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. This company provides valuable resources to help Olympic hopefuls live and train effectively and comfortably."
Additionally, 300 school children from New York City have been invited to participate in the Winter Festival, featuring all eight winter Olympic sports, and will have the opportunity to meet and interact with Olympians, Paralympians and 2010 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.
"We are happy that the USOC has given our school children the opportunity to meet and interact with these great champions," said New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba. "The Olympic Ideals - respect, excellence and friendship - are significant to our youth and are ideals that we want our school children to learn through sport, cultural exchange and education."
Anyone interested in following the Making of Team USA can register now to receive updates at TeamUSA.org.
Individuals will have the opportunity to become Honorary Captains of Team USA with a $100 donation to support America's athletes and in return will receive special recognition on TeamUSA.org and a special edition item. Registrants of Teamusa.org will be notified first of these special programs.
"The U.S. Olympic Committee is excited to share with the fans the unique journeys of each Olympic and Paralympic hopeful as they qualify for Team USA," said Lisa Baird, USOC Chief Marketing Officer. "American athletes train their entire lives for a shot at making the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams. For the first time in history, the USOC will capture the moment when each athlete becomes a member of Team USA. I'd like to thank Hilton and our associate sponsors for kicking off this effort with a great celebration in historic Rockefeller Center."