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U.S. Olympic Family Donates To Haiti Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO  - As an extension of its commitment to assist the Haitian Olympic Committee (HOC), the U.S. Olympic family has  donated more than 5,200 items of sporting equipment, games and apparel to the HOC. This marks the second round of donations from the U.S. Olympic Committee's (USOC) Team for Tomorrow humanitarian fund, and the HOC will receive nearly $140,000 worth of equipment from the combined effort.

The first round of donations was sent in March and supported the HOC and UNICEF in running psycho-social programs for more than 50,000 children who were left homeless after the earthquake. Through 200 trained sport specialists, the HOC and UNICEF offered sport and social programs to help children take their mind off the earthquake catastrophe and play again. These programs were particularly crucial during the first few months when schools had not yet reopened and continue to play a role in helping children engage in fun social games and sport while learning positive social and life values.

The second donation includes items such as shoes, shirts, duffle bags, water filtration systems, various sport balls, first aid kits, jump ropes, hula hoops, table tennis tables and equipment, which were requested by the HOC in meetings following the earthquake. Team for Tomorrow has been able to make these contributions to Haiti thanks to the support of U.S. National Governing Bodies (NGBs), the Athletes Advisory Council (AAC), Multi-Sport Organizations (MSOs), individual Americans and other sporting organizations in the United States.

"We reached out to our counterparts in Haiti immediately after the disaster and it was emphasized that relief and rebuilding would require time and continued support," USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun said. "Eight months after the devastation, we are happy to keep that support system alive, and we hope that our efforts have helped bring a sense of normalcy and optimism to the Haitian people. We commend the Haitian Olympic Committee for their leadership toward making a significant social impact in their country."

In addition to donations, the USOC has worked in conjunction with the HOC, the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), and the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) to bring hope and inspiration to the country through the participation of Haitian athletes in the Central American and Caribbean Games, which took place July 18-Aug. 1 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. CACSO member National Olympic Committees covered all costs related to the training and logistics for the participation of Haitian athletes in the Games, while the USOC covered air transportation for all Haitian athletes living in the United States to travel to the Games, as well as the costs of U.S. visas. Additionally, the USOC, on behalf of Nike and NGBs, provided the competition clothing for 95 athletes competing at the Central American and Caribbean Games in eight sports.

In cooperation with the Olympic Movement, the USOC's Team for Tomorrow will continue to support the HOC through its next phase of rebuilding the sporting infrastructure in Haiti.

About Team for Tomorrow
Team for Tomorrow is a humanitarian relief fund through which U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes provide support and give back to local communities and people in need throughout the world. Launched in 2008 in partnership with America's athletes, the fund also serves as a platform for athletes to continue spreading the Olympic Ideals of peace, goodwill, tolerance and harmony. 

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About the USOC 
The USOC is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the sole entity in the United States whose mission involves training, entering and underwriting the full expenses for the U.S. teams in the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games. In addition to being the steward of the U.S. Olympic Movement, the USOC is the moving force for support of sports in the United States that are on the program of the Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games.



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