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Verizon Luge Challenge Brings Ultimate Sliding Experience To Northstar-at-Tahoe, <br>March 31-April 1

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TRUCKEE, CALIF. -- The Verizon Luge Challenge is coming to Northstar-at-Tahoe in Truckee, Calif., March 31-April 1.

Gordy Sheer (Lake Placid, N.Y.), a three-time Olympian and 1998 Olympic silver medalist, and Brian Martin (Palo Alto, Calif.), a 1998 Olympic bronze and

2000 Inaugural Winter Goodwill Games gold medalist, will join USA Luge National Team coaches and athletes in demonstrating proper sliding technique to

participants in the event.

Through its sponsorship, Verizon Communications will bring the luge experience to thousands of people -- free of charge -- in a safe, slope-side setting at

Northstar-at-Tahoe and five other mountain resorts across the country this winter. This is the first year that Northstar-at-Tahoe will host the event.

"The Verizon Luge Challenge program continues to gain popularity as an alternative winter activity," said Pat Hennebry, director of corporate

sponsorships for Verizon Communications. "This year, we're delighted to bring this adrenaline-pumping event out west to Northstar-at-Tahoe."

After a few morning practice runs, youth (ages 10-17) and adults will lie on their backs atop special luge sleds made for snow and take the "ultimate

slide" on a track complete with banked turns and timing equipment.

There will be timed races in the afternoon, with results flashed on an electronic scoreboard. "Racers" will be timed against a course standard set by

USA Luge National Team athletes and coaches. The event is conducted in four categories: men (ages 18 and over), women (ages 18 and over), boys (ages

10-17) and girls (ages 10-17). The five individuals who clock the fastest times in each age group will win prizes, including snow luge sleds and ski items from

DMT, Fox River, LaCrosse Footwear, Marker Outerwear and UVEX Sports.

The family event also features a live DJ, free hot chocolate and prize drawings.

As a founding sponsor of USA Luge, Verizon (formerly NYNEX and later Bell Atlantic) has helped the U.S. National Luge Team rise to become a world-class

competitor, winning more than 190 international medals since 1990. Team USA made history in 1998 by winning the first U.S. Olympic medals in luge (a silver

and a bronze) during the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

USA Luge continues to excel in international competition. During 2000, the team won the gold medal in the Inaugural Winter Goodwill Games doubles

competition, the overall World Cup doubles' bronze medal, the World Championship bronze medal, Inaugural Challenge Cup overall silver medal and gold, silver

and bronze at the 2000 Junior World Championships.

For more information, log on to USA Luge's official Web site,

Verizon Communications Inc. .is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and

wireless communications in the United States, with nearly 109 million access line equivalents and more than 27.5 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the

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in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit