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Congressional Olympic & Paralympic Caucus Free Throw Challenge engages Members of Congress with Olympic and Paralympic Movements

By United States Olympic Committee | March 19, 2013, 7:44 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.) and 2008 Olympic basketball
champion Kara Lawson won gold at the event with 38 points.

The Congressional Olympic & Paralympic Caucus Free Throw Challenge, hosted by the United States Olympic Committee and the Congressional Olympic & Paralympic Caucus, took place today at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. In its second edition, this competitive event brought together Members of Congress and a handful of Team USA’s best athletes to demonstrate basketball skills in promotion of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

“It’s great to see Members of  Congress, including Members of the Congressional Olympic and Paralympic Caucus, supporting Team USA and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements,” said Desiree Filippone, USOC managing director of government relations. “The outpouring of support for this event shows that the bipartisan members of the caucus are continuing to educate and engage fellow members of Congress about the goals and spirit of Olympism.”

Participating members of Congress and Executive Director of Veteran Affairs Mike Galloucis were paired with a U.S. Olympian or Paralympian to shoot one round of free throws, consisting of 10 total attempts. Each basket counted as one point, with the round’s final free throw designated as the bonus ball, which, if made, extended the round until a basket was missed. The duos with the highest scores were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals. The podium winners were as follows.

Gold – Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.) and 2008 Olympian Kara Lawson, 38 points

Silver – Rep. Jared Huffman (Calif.) and two-time Paralympian Kari Miller, 18 points

Silver – Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.) and 2008 Olympian Kara Lawson, 18 points

U.S. Rep. and Congressional Caucus Co-chairman Dave
Reichert (Wash.) shares in the day's camaraderie with Paralympian
Oz Sanchez, a Marine Corps veteran and four-time medalist.

“As athletes, we understand how much support we get from everyone in the U.S., and what a galvanizing force sports can be," said Kara Lawson, 2008 Olympic basketball champion. “That's why we are happy to be here today. There is a great interaction between the athletes and the (Congress) members. It's been great fun!

”The event featured three Olympians and four Paralympians, along with nine members of Congress. Below is a full list of participants.

Team USA

Jonathan Horton – 2008, 2012 Olympic gymnast and two-time medalist
Kara Lawson – 2008 Olympic basketball champion
Mary Allison Milford – 2008 Paralympic wheelchair basketball champion
Kari Miller – 2008, 2012 Paralympic sitting volleyball silver medalist; Army veteran
Oz Sanchez – 2008, 2012 Paralympic cyclist and four-time medalist; Marine Corps veteran
U.S. Navy Lt. Brad Snyder – 2012 Paralympic swimmer and three-time medalist
Kellie Wells – 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 100-meter hurdles

Members of Congress

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.)
U.S. Rep. John Carney (Del.)
U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.)
U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (N.J.)
U.S. Rep. Gene Green (Texas)
U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (Calif.)
U.S. Rep. and Congressional Caucus Co-chairman Dave Reichert (Wash.)
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)
U.S. Rep. José Serrano (N.Y.)

The Congressional Olympic & Paralympic Caucus was formed in February 2010 by Representatives Jim Langevin (R.I.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), and Dave Reichert (Wash.) and Senators Michael Bennett (Colo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Johnny Isakson (Ga.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) to support Team USA and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in Washington, D.C.

Following the event, all of the basketball equipment was donated to YMCA Arlington, a member of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, on behalf of the USOC’s Team for Tomorrow program – a humanitarian relief fund through which U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls provide support and give back to local communities and people in need throughout the world.

Related Athletes

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Jonathan Horton

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Kara Lawson

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Mary Alison Milford

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Kari Miller

Sitting Volleyball
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Oz Sanchez

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Bradley Snyder

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Kellie Wells