Bell Atlantic Luge Challenge Encourages Local Thrill-Seekers to Take a Wild Ride

Bell Atlantic Luge Challenge Encourages Local Thrill-Seekers
to Take a Wild Ride

Thousands Expected to Try Luge This Winter

January 21, 1999


Michael Kornfeld, Bell Atlantic

(212) 395-5990

Bill Pearse

Amy Flak

The Graubard Group

(212) 966-9000

STRATTON MOUNTAIN, Vt. -- Bell Atlantic and the United States
Luge Association are offering winter enthusiasts a wild ride down the
slopes of Stratton Mountain Resort, Feb. 20 and 21, at the Bell Atlantic
Luge Challenge.

During the event, anyone 10 years of age and older can become an
amateur luger and experience one of the world's fastest sports in a safe,
controlled environment. Lying atop a lightweight recreational sled similar
to those used in the Olympic Winter Games, participants will tackle the
snow-banked curves of a simulated luge track. No experience or lift
tickets are required to take part in the fun.

"Since the U.S. Luge Team won its first-ever Olympic medals in Nagano
last year, the sport has surged in popularity," said Ron Rossi, executive
director of USA Luge. "The Bell Atlantic Luge Challenge brings the sport
a step closer to the fans, giving them a rare opportunity to experience the
unparalleled thrill of luge in their own backyard."

USA Luge coaches and team members will be on hand to conduct mini-
training sessions and teach proper luge techniques. Those who are up to
the Challenge will then don helmets, hop on the LaserlugeTM and shoot
down a specially designed course.

Luge runs will be timed and the results flashed on a large electronic
scoreboard. Participants will have an opportunity to practice from 9 a.m.
to 1 p.m., and try to qualify for the Challenge race. Those who qualify
will race at 2 p.m. for prizes, including a Laserluge sled and official USA
Luge gear.

The Bell Atlantic Luge Challenge also will feature music, free hot
chocolate and "Take a Wild Ride!" drawings for prizes such as ski shop
gift certificates, portable radios and ski bags.

Now in its third season, Stratton Mountain is the final stop of the 1999
Bell Atlantic Luge Challenge tour.

Since the company became a founding sponsor of USA Luge in 1985, the
support of Bell Atlantic has been a linchpin in the U.S. National Luge
Team's rise from non-contender to world-class competitor. Last winter,
Team USA made history when the doubles teams of Chris Thorpe and
Gordy Sheer, and Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin, captured the silver
and bronze medals, respectively -- the country's first Olympic medals in

Building on this success, the U.S. Luge Team remains on the fast track for
1999. In 1998-99 World Cup competition, Grimmette and Martin have
surged to the lead in the overall standings on the strength of a gold and
two silvers. Teammates Thorpe and Sheer are third, while Christian
Niccum and Matt McClain are ranked fifth. The three sleds have totaled
seven World Cup medals thus far in the season, including three golds.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.