Bell Atlantic Hosts U.S. Olympic Luge Team Send-Off

Bell Atlantic Hosts U.S. Olympic Luge Team Send-Off

Top Athletes Meet with Employees in Manhattan

January 26, 1998

Media contacts:

USA Luge Team Sponsor

Michael Kornfeld


US Luge Association

Sandy Caligiore

518-523-2071, ext 112

NEW YORK - Fresh on the heels of clinching the World Cup Luge Doubles
championship, members of the U.S. Olympic Luge team today received an
enthusiastic send-off to the 1998 Olympic Winter Games from Bell
Atlantic employees.

New World Cup Doubles champions Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin, and
two-time world championship silver medalists Gordy Sheer and Chris
Thorpe met with employees and signed autographs in gratitude for the
company's long-term sponsorship and support of the team.

The luge racers, who will represent the United States at the games
Feb. 7-22 in Nagano, Japan, appeared at Bell Atlantic's Manhattan

"Having a send-off in your home area like this makes you realize how
much support there is," said three-time Olympian Gordy Sheer of
Croton, N.Y. "Visiting with people at Bell Atlantic has always been
enjoyable, but also important. The next time I return here, I'd like
to bring Bell Atlantic an Olympic medal."

Bell Atlantic's long-standing support has helped put the team on the
map, and today USA Luge is poised to attain its first Olympic medal in
team history. Grimmette, of Muskegon, Mich., and Martin, of Palo Alto,
Calif., slide into the Winter Games, having locked-up the World Cup
championships yesterday. Two-time world championship silver medalists
Sheer and Thorpe , of Marquette, Mich., were also members of the 1992
and 1994 Olympic teams.

"Bell Atlantic is proud of its long-term sponsorship of USA Luge,"
said Bruce Gordon, Bell Atlantic group president for Retail Services.
"Many have called our partnership the ultimate corporate amateur
sponsorship in the Olympic movement. Everyone affiliated with Bell
Atlantic can take pride in these wonderful American luge athletes as
we wish them great success at the Olympics."

Bell Atlantic employees had an opportunity to talk with the athletes,
view video clips of the lugers in action, get a close-up look at a
luge sled and learn about one of the world's fastest sports.

NYNEX began sponsoring the team in 1985. Bell Atlantic, which merged
with NYNEX in August, has continued that relationship.

Luge racing involves sliding down a steep incline with banked curves
while lying flat on your back on specially designed, aerodynamic
sleds. Athletes race at speeds in excess of 80 miles-per-hour on luge
courses measuring up to one mile in length.

More information on the U.S. Luge team, the sport of luge, and the
United States Luge Association is available on-line at