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United States Olympic Committee Announces 2009 F.L.A.M.E. Program Participants

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today that 30 minority student leaders from colleges and universities across the country have been selected to attend the USOC's Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere (F.L.A.M.E.) program presented by Tyson Foods, Inc.  The F.L.A.M.E. program will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., August 1-4, 2009.

Celebrating its 16th anniversary, F.L.A.M.E. has provided students an in-depth look at the Olympic Movement and personal exploration of the Olympic Ideals of persistence, commitment, vision, focus and determination. With the support of official presenting sponsor, Tyson Foods, Inc., and associate sponsor Hilton Hotels Corporation,F.L.A.M.E. focuses on mentoring students so that they can apply Olympic-oriented principles to all aspects of their lives. The program also offers a pathway for talented young people to become further involved in the Olympic Movement either through the USOC's college internship program or other career and volunteer opportunities.

"F.L.A.M.E. has consistently been one of the USOC's most successful outreach programs," USOC Acting Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Streeter said. "F.L.A.M.E. program alumni have gone on to become Olympians, USOC college interns, USOC sponsor employees and leaders in companies and organizations throughout the country. We are pleased to be able to partner with our sponsors to offer this opportunity to deserving young people year after year."

Participants in this year's program represent 29 colleges and universities and hail from 12 states across the nation. While at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, F.L.A.M.E. participants will live among athletes-in-training, residing in the dormitories and eating alongside U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls. The program itinerary includes presentations by USOC and National Governing Body senior staff members and one-on-one discussions with motivational speakers such as legendary Olympian Billy Mills (athletics, 1964), Paralympian John Register(athletics, 2000) and two-time Paralympian April Holmes (athletics 2004, 2008).

Additional activities include sport demonstrations conducted by USOC resident athletes, a hike through the famous Garden of the Gods, and a banquet at the Antler's Hilton Hotel. Adecco, the Official Career Services Supplier of the U.S. Olympic Team, will also conduct a Networking Skills seminar.

F.L.A.M.E. CLASS OF 2009
Name                                       University/College                               Hometown             
Solomon Abdella                       Pasadena City College                        Monrovia, Calif.  
Niccolas Barton                         Duquesne University                           Marietta, Ga.
Robbie Bellamy                         California State Univ.-Fresno                Fresno, Calif.
Shardonay Blueford                    High Point University                          High Point, N.C.
Arielle Brown                             University of Maryland                         Woodbridge, Va.
Anton Burkett                            Augustana College                             Hazel Crest, Ill.
Ramiro Caldera                          California State Univ.-Dominguez Hills   Compton, Calif.
Elmer Castillo                            Northeastern State University              Bentonville, Ark.
Julie Cline                                 California State Univ.-Fullerton             Corona, Calif.
Siddharth Dalal                          University of Georgia                           Macon, Ga.
Christopher Davis                       North Carolina Central University          Durham, N.C.
Ricki Dean                                 Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill         Philadelphia, Pa.
Deidra Debnam                          Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill          Fayetteville, N.C.
Sherrice Fox                              University of Northern Colorado              Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jonathan Freeman                      Virginia Union University                        Portsmouth, Va.
Alexandria Glaize                       Milligan College                                    Fairburn, Ga.
Kristin Howell                             Temple University                                 San Antonio, Texas
Jonathan Money                         Rutgers University                                Pennsauken, N.J.
Marissa Norman                         University of Rhode Island                     Peace Dale, R.I.
Alexandria Patterson                  Virginia Commonwealth University          Bella Vista, Ark.
Angelica Patterson                     Southern Arkansas University                Bella Vista, Ark.
Kristin Preble                             Univ. of Colorado-Colorado Springs         Colorado Springs, Colo.
Stanley Quan                             University of California-Berkeley             San Mateo, Calif.
Aseem Rastogi                           Old Dominion University                        Fairfax, Va.
Merilly Ruglas                             University of New Orleans                     Metairie, La.
Anish Shah                                Emory College                                      Irving, Texas
Franklyn Simmons                      North Carolina State University               Atlanta, Ga.
Samuel Sok                               Rice University                                      Houston, Texas
Mai-Thy Vuong                           Drexel University                                   Lake Forest, Calif.
Jamenda Whitehead                   Georgia State University                        College Park, Ga.

For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529.

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