FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, 2009 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U. S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is pleased to announce that two athletes from Community Olympic Development Programs – Delaney Mendoza (San Antonio, Texas), a fencing athlete from San Antonio Sports, and Alex Belote (Springfield, Mo.), a tennis player from Springfield Greene County Parks and Recreation – will attend the Singapore 2010 Friendship Camp, Dec. 8-12, at the Singapore Sports School in Singapore.
 
The five-day, four-night camp, organized by Singapore’s Ministry of Education in partnership with the Singapore Sports School and the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee, is a special part of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), with the goal of promoting the Olympic values among participants and providing them with a unique experience and the opportunity to form life-long friendships. Through the camp, participants will have the opportunity to participate in some of the Culture and Education Program activities for the YOG, including sports development, interaction with Olympians, island activities, community projects, learning journeys and a youth music concert.
 
"The Singapore Friendship camp is an incredible opportunity for the USOC," said Alicia McConnell, USOC Director of Athlete Services and Programs. "It also allows CODP athletes to expand and enhance their knowledge and understanding of the Olympic Movement across the globe. This educational and cultural festival in Asia will be in a unique environment that can grow their life experiences through their involvement with sport."
 
The camp’s organizers tasked each National Olympic Committee with selecting one male athlete and one female athlete between 15-17 years old with advanced sport experience and an independent and mature personality. To select its athletes, the USOC reached out to its Community Olympic Development Programs (CODP), which are youth development sport programs managed and funded by community-based organizations around the country. The following locations have been designated as CODPs by the USOC: the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta (Atlanta, Ga.), Central Cross Country Ski Association (Verona, Wis.), Midwest Weightlifting Club (Lake County, Ind.), Moorestown Weightlifting Club (Moorestown, N.J.), San Antonio Sports (San Antonio, Texas), Springfield Greene County Parks and Recreation (Springfield, Mo.) and the Utah Athletic Foundation (Park City, Utah).
 
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Delaney, a talented fencer who has been a part of the San Antonio Sports program for six years," said Susan Blackwood, Executive Director of San Antonio Sports. "She has had to overcome many obstacles to get where she is now, making her a leader and an ambassador for the sport. We’re proud of her accomplishments and know that she will be representing the United States and San Antonio with honor."
 
Mendoza, 16, began fencing at age 9 when her mom signed her up for Dreams for Youth, a San Antonio Sports program. A proven fighter in and out of the gym, Mendoza was diagnosed with catamenial epilepsy in July 2008. Despite her condition, the young fencer continues to practice and excel at the sport she loves most.
 
"To be blessed with an opportunity to represent the United States at the Singapore Friendship Camp is so incredible it almost seems like a dream," Mendoza said. "I am so grateful to the U.S. Olympic Committee as well as San Antonio Sports for all they have done to make this journey a reality. I’m sure the friends and memories that we make at this camp will be treasured always."
 
Belote, 16, has been involved in Springfield’s CODP tennis program since 2004 where he is now one of the top youth tennis players in Springfield. Playing in approximately 15 U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) tournaments per year, Belote has also participated in the USTA’s Competitive Training Center Program for three years and competes for Springfield Central High School.
 
"It is a great honor and a privilege for the Greater Springfield CODP to send a young athlete to the 2010 Singapore Friendship Camp where he will represent not only the City of Springfield-Greene County, Missouri, but the USOC and the United States as well," said Linda Dollar, Director of the Greater Springfield CODP.
 
"It seems almost unreal to me that I’m getting to represent the United States at the 2010 Singapore Friendship Camp," Belote said. "I’m very grateful to the U.S. Olympic Committee and our Greater Springfield Area Community Olympic Development Program for this amazing opportunity."
 
For more information on the camp, visit www.singapore2010.sg/friendshipcamp.
 
About the Community Olympic Development Program The Community Olympic Development Program, in collaboration with the National Governing Bodies, develops community sport programs and impacts developmental athlete performance by building partnerships, accessing community resources, and leveraging USOC resources to create, develop and enhance Olympic sport feeder systems. Athlete programs also provide services and resources to elite-level athletes, not only to enhance their achievement of excellence in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but also in life.
 
About the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Singapore will be hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games from Aug. 14-26, 2010, as young athletes age 14-18 will compete in 26 sports and take part in the Culture and Education Program. Approximately 5,000 athletes and officials from around the world will participate, attracting more than 500,000 spectators. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games aim to inspire youth around the world to embrace, embody and express the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. More information can be found at www.singapore2010.sg.
 
For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529, or visit www.TeamUSA.org.