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THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: FROM ALBERTVILLE -- NEWS AND NOTES OF INTEREST

THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: FROM ALBERTVILLE -- NEWS AND NOTES OF INTEREST
 ALBERTVILLE, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Olympic Winter Games beginning on Saturday, some news and notes of interest has been issued from the U.S. Postal Service, sponsor of the "Celebrate the Dream" program.
 Hockey player Ray LeBlanc of Indianapolis, who will be competing in Albertville for the U.S. Olympic Team, will have an unexpected member in his cheering section when the games begin this weekend: his three-year- old son, Ray Jr. LeBlanc would not have been able to bring his young son and his wife Julie to France this week, but thanks to the "Celebrate the Dream" program sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, family members of more than 80 U.S. Olympians will be given accommodations in France so they can be with their loved ones. Ray Jr., is the youngest family member participating in the "Celebrate the Dream" program, but to Ray Sr., he'll be the most inspirational.
 Figure skater Todd Eldredge, who missed the recent U.S. Nationals because of a painful back injury, has been undergoing treatment and hopes to capture a medal in Albertville. But even if he doesn't, the two-time National Champion may still walk away with a special honor -- and a $5,000 grant. Eldredge is one of several nominees for the annual NUPRIN Comeback Award, which recognizes U.S. Olympic athletes who have overcome sports related injuries. It also honors the trainers and physical therapists who helped them on the road to recovery. In Eldredge's case, Rosemarie Harris, a physical therapist at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, has been a key to his rehabilitation and will also be awarded a $5,000 grant should Eldredge win. Other nominees include: speedskater Eric Flaim, biathletes Josh Thompson and Joan Guetschow, figure skaters Rachel Mayer and Nancy Kerrigan, and luger Erica Terwilligar. The winners - one male, one female - will be announced during the Olympic Games.
 What better way to show your support for the U.S. Olympic Team than by leaving a good luck message by telephone. Maxwell House Coffee is sponsoring an interactive phone program that allows callers to leave a 20-second good luck message to any member or team that will be competing in Albertville. The number, 1-900-884-SPIRIT, costs $1.50 per minute, with 25 cents per call being donated to the U.S. Olympic Team. Each athlete will have a personal voice mailbox and an individual audiocassette will be sent to them in France along with a cassette player so that they can listen to their calls from well-wishers. Early returns showed NFL running back Herschel Walker, a member of the U.S. Bobsled Team, to have received the most calls thus far of an U.S. Olympian.
 What does the U.S. figure skating trio of Kristi Yamaguchi, Tonya Harding, and Nancy Kerrigan have in common beside being potential medal winners at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France? All three are eager to use their skating talents immediately after the games to help better the lives of others. Upon returning home, Yamaguchi plans on skating for the benefit of the Canadian Cancer Society, Harding for the Portland Children's Hospital, and Kerrigan for the Jimmy Fund in Boston. They are just three of 14 U.S. Olympians who are nominees for the Clairol Personal Best Award, which honors outstanding athletes who help improve the quality of life for others. The winners will be announced during the Olympic Games in Albertville.
 When you drink Evian Water, you may notice on the bottle a raised figure of a skier in a crouch. The figure may look generic, but it was actually modeled after the great Jean-Claude Killy, winner of three gold medals in the 1968 Olympic Games and organizer of the upcoming Winter Games in Albertville. Furthermore, the Olympics is being held in "Evian Country." The water's source is the French Alps and special appearances by supervisors of nearby plants and springs will be held. Part of Evian's Olympic program includes the Evian Peak Performance Team, a group of seven prominent U.S. Olympic athletes and hopefuls who will tour the U.S. to talk about their Olympic experiences, as well as the importance of drinking water in maintaining proper health and fitness. Members of the Evian team will tour following their respective Olympic Games. Two members of the Evian team competing in Albertville could have a lot to talk about -- they represent two of the U.S. team's top hopes for Olympic gold, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and speedskater Bonnie Blair. You could say that Yamaguchi and Blair know their subject matter quite well. Both have spend the better parts of their lives on water, albeit the frozen kind.
 Besides following the competition through the press, the public can celebrate the Olympics in their daily lives by using (and saving) special Olympic commemorative stamps. The five stamps feature ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, skiing and bobsledding. The Winter Olympic Games stamps were designed by Lon Busch of Ellisville, Mo., whose previous designs include the Pan American Games (1987) and Basketball (1991) stamps. The U.S. Postal Service is a worldwide sponsor of the 1992 Winter and Summer Olympic Games.
 -0- 2/3/92
 /CONTACT: Bryan Harris or Randy Kambic of Alan Taylor Communications, 212-714-1280, for the United States Postal Service/ CO: United States Postal Service ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


TS-OS -- NY053 -- 6202 02/03/92 12:38 EST
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Date:Feb 3, 1992
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