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U.S. Olympic Committee Commemorates Chinese New Year , Six-Month Countdown to 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; National Olympic Education Program Launches"Real Athletes Show Respect"Campaign

Feb. 07, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is commemorating the Chinese New Year (Feb. 7) and the Six-Month Countdown (Feb. 8) to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with various promotions, including the launching of the USOC's 2008 National Olympic Education Program campaign,"Real Athletes Show Respect."Other initiatives include appearances by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and U.S. Olympians and Paralympians at Chinese New Year celebrations in conjunction with Chicago 2016, a"Mark Your Calendar"promotional video, visibility at weekend sporting events and U.S. Olympic Training Center celebrations."REAL ATHLETES SHOW RESPECT" The USOC is coordinating the appearances of Olympians and Paralympians beginning this week in conjunction with its multi-year National Olympic Education Program, which promotes Olympic Ideals and Values. The athletes will visit schools and community centers across the country as ambassadors for the Olympic Movement and this year's theme: Respect. Participating communities include: - Birmingham, Ala. - Chicago, Ill. - Chula Vista, Calif. - Colorado Springs, Colo. - Denver, Colo. - Edmond, Okla. - Flagstaff, Ariz. - Houston, Texas - Miami, Fla. - New Orleans, La. - Philadelphia, Pa. - San Francisco, Calif. Olympians and Paralympians will speak to elementary, middle and high school students about their personal history, and about their experiences as athletes and representatives of our nation. Each Olympian and Paralympian will be supplied a DVD with Olympic and Paralympic highlight footage and stories of athletes whose actions espouse the positive aspects of the Olympic Movement. To support this year's focus on Respect, the USOC developed television public service announcements featuring prominent athletes who exemplify sportsmanship in their actions and beliefs. This year's featured athletes are volleyball player Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Paralympic cyclist Greta Neimanas (Chicago, Ill.). The PSAs will be sent to 400 local TV stations and 500 cable networks. Last year's PSAs, which focused on the Olympic Values of Sportsmanship and Fair Play, garnered more than 10 million impressions throughout the country. The USOC also created brochures and posters to emphasize the Olympic Value of Respect, which target different levels of sport participation. These materials and the PSAs may be found by clicking here: http://elitemediagroup.tv/usoc_showrespect.htm. To view additional interview clips with Haneef-Park and Neimanas, click here: http://elitemediagroup.tv/usoc_olympians2008.htm. CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS U.S. Olympians and Paralympians will accompany Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to Chinese New Year celebrations throughout Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 9. On Sunday, Feb. 10, the athletes will march in the Chinatown New Year parades and ride aboard a Chicago 2016 float. "MARK YOUR CALENDAR" PROMOTIONAL VIDEO A new promotional video titled"Mark Your Calendar"features interviews with top U.S. Olympic hopefuls and was created to commemorate the Chinese New Year and Six-Month Countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The video can be viewed by clicking here: http://videos.amazingawaits.org/6mo_revised.mp4 (please be patient while the video loads). It was distributed to all National Governing Bodies and Olympic Training Centers for use throughout the coming month. OLYMPIC SPORTING EVENTS Promotional materials tied to the Six-Month Countdown and the"Real Athletes Show Respect"campaign will be incorporated into sporting events over the weekend. Among them is the Dave Schultz Memorial International Wrestling Championships, celebrating its 10th year of competition Feb. 8-10 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The event was created in February 1999 in honor of the late Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz. As many as 30 nations are expected to compete this year, featuring some of the best wrestlers in the world, including at least 12 past World or Olympic champions. For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at 719-866-4529.