BP America has formally announced its support for nine U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including financial commitments to them and to charities of their choice in communities across the country.
BP America first announced its sponsorship of the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams in February 2010, and earlier this year the company extended its partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee as its official energy partner through 2016. Today’s announcement signals the company’s additional commitment to nine athletes who are training in hopes of representing Team USA in archery, cycling, gymnastics, track & field and swimming.
“These athletes personify courage and dedication. Many have had to overcome tremendous adversity, which we find inspirational as individuals and as a company,” said Steve Williams, head of U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Programs, BP America. “As a proud partner of the U.S. Olympic Committee, BP America is honored to help bring this partnership to life by sponsoring these nine athletes as they pursue their Olympic and Paralympic dreams. We are committed to providing these premiere athletes with the opportunities, support and critical funding necessary to help fuel these outstanding athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
In 2012, the company will also support charities related to the athletes’ personal causes, as well as local sports clubs to nurture the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians.
“If it weren’t for companies like BP making the commitment to the Olympics and to individuals like me, I would not be able to do what I do,” said Bryan Clay, a decathlete and one of the BP America-sponsored athletes. “They are making it possible for me to go out and represent my country and hopefully, win another medal for the United States.”
“BP’s impact on my life is huge,” said Rudy Garcia-Tolson, a world-class swimmer and BP-sponsored athlete making a bid for the 2012 Paralympics. “I’ve always wanted to be the best, and they are able to help me in that pursuit. I’ve always believed you can do anything you want to do, and BP is helping me make this a reality.”
The athletes will train and compete in qualifying rounds in 2012 ahead of the London Games next July and August.
This announcement comes as BP America unveils a series of innovative, interactive trading cards featuring the nine athletes through an “Augmented Reality” platform, available in Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine on newsstands Dec 16. Held up to a computer screen or mobile phone camera, the printed cards will come to life as the athletes digitally appear in front of the user with exclusive training tips and information about themselves and their sports.