Olympic champions look to pass the torch at USATF Junior Olympics

07-28-2009

Contact:
Glen McMicken

USA Track & Field
317-261-0500

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Nine-time gold medalist Carl Lewis will lead a trio of America's most celebrated Olympic champions Wednesday at the opening ceremonies of the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University.

Lewis will be joined by Dan O'Brien, the 1996 decathlon champion and American record holder, and Joanna Hayes, the 2004 100-meter hurdles champ, at the ceremonies, which celebrate the 43rd edition of the national meet.

Hayes said, "It's so important for us to encourage young athletes. Who knows who's the next Olympic champion that I might be able to inspire to work a little harder and to stay on the right path to success."

North Carolina's Crystal Cox, who won Olympic gold in 2004 on the women's 4x400 relay, will be at the meet Saturday. Cox is most recently known for her appearance on the hit CBS reality show Survivor: Gabon in 2008, making it to the final six.

The USATF Junior Olympic program is the world's most visible youth athlete developmental program, with almost 70,000 competitors nationwide each year. The national championships feature more than 6,000 of those athletes competing in five age divisions for each gender.

For more information on the 2009 USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Championships in Greensboro, visit: www.usatf.org.