COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The United States Olympic Committee today announced the launch of Raise our Flag, an exciting and innovative new program that gives every American the chance to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes by contributing a stitch to the American flag that will accompany the U.S. Olympic Team to the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer.
Supporters can purchase a single stitch in the flag for $12 by visiting TeamUSA.org now through July 12, 2012. Every purchased stitch receives a number and will be honored on the site's Donor Wall - where it can be dedicated to a friend, family member or Team USA athlete, and then easily shared through Facebook and Twitter.
"The Raise our Flag campaign gives every American the opportunity to show their support for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams in a meaningful way while having a direct, positive impact on the athletes," said Scott Blackmun, chief executive officer, USOC. "Unlike many of the teams our athletes will compete against in London this summer, the U.S. Olympic Team receives no government funding and our athletes rely on individual donations and corporate support. This program invites every American to become a member of the team behind the team."
The program officially launched at today's 100-day countdown celebration in Times Square when three legendary Olympians - gold medal winners Greg Louganis (diving: 1984, 1988), Carl Lewis (track & field: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996), and Shannon Miller (gymnastics: 1996) - joined reigning gold medalist Allyson Felix (track & field: 2008) to dedicate the first stitch in the flag to all U.S. Olympians and Paralympians.
"As an Olympian who has walked in the Opening Ceremony and watched the American flag rise over the medal stand, I can tell you just how much our country's flag and the support of our fans means to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes," Felix said. "Raise Our Flag is a great way for fans of Team USA to celebrate their support and know that they are helping our current and future Olympians and Paralympians achieve their dreams."
In addition to the searchable Donor Wall, the program website (TeamUSA.org) will feature a running total of stitches donated, totals of stitches made by U.S. state, and a library of new images and videos featuring Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls.
"The Raise Our Flag campaign is extremely unique; we believe fans of Olympic sport will embrace this chance to buy a stitch, and then share their pride with friends and family," said Lisa Baird, chief marketing officer, USOC. "The London 2012 Olympic Games are going to be an amazing, memorable event and there is no better time to help connect our great athletes with the fans who support them."
For more information on Raise Our Flag and Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org.