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|U.S. Olympians and Paralympians to promote fair play this week across America|
By U.S. Olympic Committee
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Fair play and drug prevention will be the messages promoted by United States Olympians and Paralympians to America's youth during Red Ribbon Week, October 21-28. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is coordinating the appearances of Olympians and Paralympians during Red Ribbon Week in conjunction with its multi-year National Olympic Education Program, which promotes Olympic Ideals and Values. The program theme for 2006 is "Real Athletes Play Fair," which includes drug-free competition.
Olympians and Paralympians will visit schools and community centers in cities across the country as ambassadors for the ideals and values associated with the Olympic Movement. Participating communities slated to take part in the fair play and anti-doping outreach message include:
-Chula Vista, Calif.
-Colorado Springs, Colo.
-Lake Placid, N.Y.
-Los Angeles, Calif.
-Park City, Utah
-Salt Lake City, Utah
-San Diego, Calif.
-San Francisco, Calif.
Olympians and Paralympians will speak to the grade school- and high school-aged students about their personal history and experiences as athletes and representatives of our nation. Each Olympian and Paralympian will be supplied a DVD with Olympic highlight footage and stories of athletes and coaches whose actions espouse the positive aspects of Olympic and sport competition.
To support the year-one focus on fair play, the USOC has developed posters that target three distinct levels of sport participation:
-Elite Athletes - Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls
-Emerging Elite Athletes - college and junior national programs
-Grass-roots Athletes - high school and youth sports
In addition, public service announcements were developed featuring prominent athletes who believe in the anti-doping message and Olympic Ideals adherence. Athletes taking part in the PSA initiative include:
-Apolo Anton Ohno - short track speedskating
-Julie Chu, Jenny Potter, Angela Ruggiero - women's ice hockey
-Vonetta Flowers - bobsled and Mark Grimmette - luge
-Jennifer Rodriguez - long track speedskating and Manuel Guerra (Paralympian) - sled hockey (Bilingual PSA English/Spanish)
-Apolo Anton Ohno - short track speedskating.
-Jeremy Bloom - moguls skiing
-Vonetta Flowers - bobsled
-Michelle Kwan - figure skating
-Jennifer Rodriguez - speedskating
National Red Ribbon Week serves as a tribute to DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena, who was murdered by drug traffickers in Mexico in 1985. The event produced an immediate outpouring of grief, but over time has generated a sense of hope across America. That hope is kept alive through the hard work of thousands of Americans - particularly young people - who annually participate in Red Ribbon Week during the month of October. The tradition is stronger than ever today, as an increasing number of Americans are saying "yes" to a drug-free life.