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U.S. Olympic Committee And DHL Announce Winners Of The 2006 U.S. Olympic Spirit Award Delivered By DHL


Torino, Italy -- February 27, 2006, Speedskater Joey Cheek, Women’s Alpine Skier Lindsey Kildow and the 2006 U.S. Olympic Snowboarding Team Voted As Best Representatives of Olympic Spirit during the XX Olympic Winter Games

The United States Olympic Committee joined U.S. Olympic Team supplier, DHL, today to announce the winners of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Spirit Award Delivered by DHL.

Joey Cheek, Lindsey Kildow, and the members of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Snowboarding Team, were selected by American fans, fellow Team USA athletes, U.S. alumni Olympians, and members of the media for best representing “Olympic Spirit” during the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Athletes were selected based their demonstration of the Olympic Ideals and Olympic values such as courage, commitment, perseverance and vision, both in competition and in pursuit of their Olympic dream. Votes were cast during the 16 days of competition, beginning February 11, 2006 through February 26, 2006, noon EST. Winners for each category are as follows:

Male Category Winner, Joey Cheek (Greensboro, NC) - A 2006 gold and silver medalist and two-time Olympian (2002, 2006) in long-track speedskating, Cheek selflessly donated his $40,000 in performance earnings to the organization, Right to Play. His generosity inspired others to contribute thousands of dollars to the organization. As result of his humanitarianism and exemplary behavior, he was elected by his peers to carry the American flag during the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games.

Female Category Winner: Lindsey Kildow (St. Paul, Minn.) - Kildow, a two-time Olympian (2002, 2006) is the first-ever woman to win the individual U.S. Olympic Spirit Award while not winning an Olympic medal. Despite being hospitalized after a spectacular training run accident on the second day of the downhill practice, Kildow returned to the slopes to compete the next day, finishing eighth. Still struggling with injuries, she demonstrated incredible courage and commitment and went on to compete in four of her five events which resulted in two top ten placements.

Team Category Winner: 2006 U.S. Olympic Snowboarding Team - The U.S. Snowboarding Team not only contributed seven medals to Team USA’s 25 medal count total, but the team’s youthful and vibrant personalities and performances captivated the hearts of Americans young and old. Their camaraderie among peers earned them the recognition they deserve. The team consists of the following athletes: Mason Aguirre, Gretchen Bleiler, Kelly Clark, Andy Finch, Rosey Fletcher, Michelle Gorgone, Jayson Hale, Elena Hight, Nate Holland, Lindsey Jacobellis, Tyler Jewell, Danny Kass, Jason Smith, Hannah Teter, Graham Watanabe, Seth Wescott and Shaun White.

“I believe the reason why the Olympics resonate with people is that the spirit of Olympians is in many ways really the spirit of people all over the world. I am proud to be an Olympian, to be a competitor and to be able to give back to people that are less fortunate than me, through a special organization like Right to Play,” said Joey Cheek.

“To me, the Olympics are not just about the medals, it’s the way people come out to the Games and they dream about being the best in the world. I am very proud that people voted for me and I hope that I represented my country to the best of my ability,” said Lindsey Kildow.

“Receiving the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award means that everybody back home in the U.S. saw how much fun the U.S. Snowboarding Team had doing what we love to do. Hopefully we have set an example so that young kids will have dreams of doing what we did here in Torino and someday they will want to compete in future Olympics,” said 2006 U.S. Snowboard Team member, Michelle Gorgone.

“For nearly 40 years, at the close of every Olympic Games, the United States Olympic Committee has honored those athletes who have inspired our country through their commitment to the Olympic Ideals,” said USOC Chief Executive Officer, Jim Scherr. “Through the support of DHL, we are proud to continue this important tradition, and we congratulate this year’s honorees for their excellence, both on and off the field of play.”

“We are thrilled to be recognizing this incredible group of athletes that have been awarded the honor of the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award. These individuals embody the Ideals of the Olympic Games which are also shared by DHL employees across the country,” said Karen Jones, DHL vice president of brand, advertising and promotions. “The personal journey of every Olympian on the 2006 U.S. Olympic Team is inspiring and the award has succeeded in recognizing those most deserving as deemed appropriate by fans, teammates and the media.”

The winners will be honored at a U.S. Olympic Team celebration dinner on May 16, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Additionally, DHL will provide a grant of $5,000 on behalf of each of the winners to a qualified, Olympic-related, non-profit organization of their choice.

Following the conclusion of the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games on March 19, DHL will officially present the 2006 U.S. Paralympic Spirit Awards Delivered by DHL to the deserving male and female athletes and teams participating in the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.

The U.S. Olympic Spirit Award history begins in 1968, when it was created by the USOC to honor the extraordinary achievements of the United States’ athletes. In 2000, the award was expanded to include the U.S. Paralympic Spirit Award, recognizing the excellence and efforts of athletes with physical disabilities. Past U.S. Olympic Spirit Award winners include Team DHL members Scott Hamilton (figure skating), Dan Jansen (speedskating), Chris Klug (snowboarding), Vonetta Flowers (bobsleigh) and Sarah Will (alpine skiing).

About DHL

A supplier of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), DHL is the Official Express Delivery and Logistics Provider of the 2006 United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams. DHL provides express delivery and logistics services to fulfill the shipping needs of the U.S. Olympic Committee and Teams, including sporting and medical equipment and Team apparel, and is committed to delivering the Olympic Spirit all across America.

Information about DHL’s Olympic Spirit Activation platform is available online at the DHL U.S. Olympic Spirit micro site (

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