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THE HOME DEPOT ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE HIRING OF OLYMPIC HOPEFUL ATHLETES THROUGH OLYMPIC JOB OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM

 Support of U.S. Olympic Team to Include
 Hiring of 25-30 Athletes in 1994
 SAN DIEGO, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Home Depot (NYSE: HD), America's largest home improvement retailer, announced its hiring of Olympic hopeful athletes through the United States Olympic Committee's Olympic Job Opportunities Program (OJOP).
 The Home Depot currently employs seven Olympic hopefuls and will be one of the largest OJOP employers by the end of the year with its employment of 25-30 athletes.
 Bernie Marcus, chairman and chief executive officer, and Arthur Blank, president and chief operating officer, will announce the company's support of the Olympic Job Opportunities Program to its 261 store managers at the company's annual managers' meeting held in San Diego. The managers from across the country will participate in the program through the training and hiring of athletes who will work in Home Depot stores as they train for the Olympics Games.
 "The desire to be the very best, to reward and encourage teamwork, individual initiative and perseverance and to extend a helping hand to all are the foundation of The Home Depot's culture," Blank said. "These values are identical to the ideals of the Olympic movement and we are proud to be able to support the athletes through this program and bring them into The Home Depot Olympic Family."
 The seven athletes currently working for Home Depot include: Stein Jorgensen in San Diego (canoe/kayak); James Loesch in Houston (archery); Tom Ansberry in Portland, Ore. (track & field); Sharon Hanson in Dale City, Va. (track & field); McClinton Neal in Dallas (track & field); Calvin Smith in Tampa, Fla. (track & field); and David Spaulding in Los Angeles (canoe/kayak).
 In August 1992, The Home Depot announced its top-tier, national sponsorship of both the U.S. Olympic Team and the 1994 and 1996 Olympic Games.
 The Olympic Job Opportunities Program (OJOP), a program of the United States Olympic Committee, is designed to provide athletes with a degree of financial security, an opportunity to progress toward a productive career and the necessary time off for training and competitions. The majority of the athletes in the program are college graduates who have been able to obtain continuing employment in their degree field because of their training and competition requirements.
 "It is incredibly difficult for an athlete to continue to train for the ultimate in athletic competition -- The Olympic Games -- because of the financial and time constraints. Through the OJOP, corporate America has answered the call of our elite athletes," USOC President Dr. LeRoy T. Walker said. "The Home Depot is representative of those companies making a tangible contribution to the Olympic movement and to our Olympians."
 Tom Ansberry, an elite track & field athlete in the 10,000-meter event and a 1991 graduate of the University of Arizona, began working at the Seattle Home Depot in November. Ansberry said, "The Home Depot accommodates my daily 3-4 hour training schedule and provides me with the job experience and financial support I need while I train and compete in numerous competitions."
 "The Home Depot and its 53,000 employees across the country are committed to supporting the athletes and doing our part to make the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games the best Olympic Games in history," Blank said.
 -0- 1/14/94
 /CONTACT: Jerry Shields for The Home Depot, 404-431-2741, or Patty Sabo for the U.S. Olympic Committee, 719-578-4535/
 (HD)


CO: The Home Depot, Inc.; United States Olympic Committee ST: California IN: SU:

BR-BN -- AT004 -- 2053 01/14/94 09:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1994
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