Morale and solidarity motivate excellence in sports. The U.S. Olympians Association is doing its part with stellar events to engage loyal supporters while Team USA athletes aim for excellence at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The NBC broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies for this year’s Winter Olympic Games presented an ideal backdrop for the special events planned by U.S. Olympians and the U.S. Olympic Committee from Los Angeles to New York. The premiere at the Beverly Hilton Hotel was headlined by distinguished Olympic medalists linked to today’s Olympians with special video broadcasts.
U.S. Olympians President Gary Hall, Sr. is showing how generations of Olympic experience are helping to give America’s Olympic athletes a winning edge. Hall won three consecutive gold medals in swimming from 1968 to 1976. He worked in health care for thirty years, while coaching son Gary Hall, Jr. also achieved Olympic greatness and won ten Olympic medals. Now Hall is leading U.S. Olympians on a course to support the current generation of Olympic athletes with a new non-profit foundation. Launched last year, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation will enhance the generous donations of Team USA sponsors with a permanent foundation that will provide a dependable stream of income for U.S. Olympic athletes and hopefuls.
The gala launch of the Olympic Games season Road to Sochi Tour was cheered by an enthusiastic turnout of Olympic athletes. Rafer Johnson, the gold medal winner in the Decathlon race at the 1960 Rome Olympics appeared as energetic as ever with a motivational tribute to America’s Olympic athletes. He was joined by Peter Vidmar, President of USA Gymnastics and board member of the International Gymnastics Federation, Kathy Moreno of Southern California Olympians, diving legend Pat McCormack, famous figure skater Tai Babilonia, figure skater Rusty Smith and USA Cycling medalist Sarah Hammer.
The special event also celebrated the formal announcement that the first Olympic Museum in the United States will open in Colorado Springs, near the U.S. Olympic Training Center. An innovative financing secured by over $100 million in projected incremental sales tax revenues is helping to get the project launched., Design and construction of the new museum is projected at about $60 million, so that it will be on a par with the world's leading Olympic museums when it opens to the public in 2016. The U.S. Olympic Committee already has a large archive of Olympic medals, uniforms, vintage photographs, event programs and other historic memorabilia that will be used to build a more extensive permanent collection for the planned museum.
The Road to Sochi receptions will conclude in New York with a special broadcast of the 2014 Winter Games Closing Ceremonies at Grand Central Station on Sunday, February 23. A VIP reception with more gatherings of U.S. Olympic athletes will take place in a nearby event space.