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

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

Thousands Expected to Try Luge This Winter

December 29, 1998


Michael Kornfeld
Bell Atlantic, (212) 395-5990
Bill Pearse
Amy Flak
The Graubard Group, (212) 966-9000

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- Bell Atlantic and the United States Luge
Association are offering winter enthusiasts a wild ride down the
slopes of Whitetail Ski Resort, Jan. 23 and 24, 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
also be held at Ski Windham in Windham, N.Y., Jan. 30-31, and
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 appears to be on the
right track for 1999. In November, up-and-comers Christian Niccum
and Matt McClain narrowly edged out teammates Grimmette and Martin,
giving the team gold and silver medals in the season's opening World
Cup competition in Igls, Austria. Thorpe and Sheer won a bronze medal
in World Cup competition the following week in Altenberg, Germany.

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.

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