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 6, 1999


Michael Kornfeld

Bell Atlantic, (212) 395-5990

Bill Pearse

Amy Flak

The Graubard Group, (212) 966-9000

WINDHAM, N.Y. -- Bell Atlantic and the United States Luge Association are
offering winter enthusiasts a wild ride down the slopes of Ski Windham Resort,
Jan. 30 and 31, 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, the Bell Atlantic Luge Challenge will conclude its 1999
tour at Stratton Mountain in Stratton, Vt., Feb. 20-21.

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 luge.

Building on this success, the U.S. Luge Team remains on the fast track for 1999.
Through the first half of the current World Cup season, Grimmette and Martin
have surged to the lead in the overall standings on the strength of a gold and two
silvers. Teammates Christian Niccum and Matt McClain are third, while Thorpe
and Sheer are fifth. All three sleds have won World Cup medals thus far.

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.