The U.S. Olympic Committee and VisitBritain today announced “Team USA: Britain Bound,” a first-of-its kind, interactive program that will see an all-star roster of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic champions tour Britain this fall. The program was launched at a One-Year Countdown party at New York’s Lincoln Center Tuesday night and will take fans behind the scenes as the athletes visit some of the Olympic venues and iconic British travel spots ahead of the Games next summer. The program’s interactive website (www.TeamUSA.org/BritainBound) will also give fans the chance to share their ideas on what the athletes should see and do when they arrive in Britain.
The Team USA: Britain Bound tour is scheduled throughout the fall of 2011, with the roster of U.S. athletes to include:
· Jeremy Campbell (2008 Paralympic discus and pentathlon champion) (Pictured below right)
· Henry Cejudo (2008 Olympic wrestling champion)
· Bryan Clay (2008 Olympic decathlon champion)
· Allison Jones (2008 Paralympic cycling silver medalist and 2006 Paralympic skiing champion)
· Nastia Liukin (2008 Olympic gymnastics champion)
· Heather Mitts (2008 and 2004 Olympic soccer champion)
· Rebecca Soni (2008 Olympic swimming champion)
“With the Olympics only one year away, I can’t wait for our Team USA: Britain Bound trip and to get to visit the Olympic venues and take in some of the famous sites,” Liukin said. “We’re so excited to get to know the host country in a new light and to share all of our adventures with everyone back here in the U.S.”
With VisitBritain, the national tourism board, acting as host and tour guide, Team USA athletes will visit locations in England, Scotland and Wales. They’ll pay homage to the proud sporting tradition, unique history and diverse culture of Great Britain while celebrating the upcoming London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“We’re delighted to be able to bring the host nation to life for Team USA fans ahead of the London 2012 Games,” said Karen Clarkson, VisitBritain’s vice president, North America. “Some of the biggest names from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams will be exploring the very best of Britain, from Inverness in Scotland right down to Weymouth in England and Cardiff in Wales. It’s a fantastic way for Team USA supporters to whet their appetite for the 2012 action we have in store – and a great way to get Team USA ready for next year!”
Itineraries have Team USA athletes visiting Olympic venues and cultural landmarks around Britain, making stops at several locations along the official Torch Relay route. Some of the highlights of the Team USA: Britain Bound trips include:
· Olympic capital, London
· Old Trafford, Manchester
· The Scottish Highlands – including a visit to The Highland Games
· Stoke Mandeville, England – the ‘home of the modern day Paralympic Games’
· Britain’s youngest capital – Cardiff, Wales
· Weymouth and Portland, England – venue for the sailing events in 2012
· Stratford-Upon-Avon – the birthplace of Shakespeare
Photos and videos from the athletes’ trips, their itineraries and other Britain travel ideas will be shared on www.TeamUSA.org/BritainBound and updated regularly. The athletes will also share their experiences via their personal social media accounts and on the US Olympic Team Facebook page.
All seven Team USA: Britain Bound athletes have won gold at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, and will be looking to add to their count in London in 2012. Between them, the athletes have won 19 medals in 13 appearances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They’ve won 38 World Championship medals and hold four World Records.
During the event, Tim Morehouse and Jeff Spear, Olympic hopefuls for fencing next year, stepped outside onto the terrace at Alice Tully Hall to offer a demonstration of their skills.