Saturday, March 06, 2004

Olympic Athletes to Prep for Athens at 2004 Titan Games in Atlanta, June 18-20

Olympic Athletes to Prep for Athens at 2004 Titan Games in Atlanta, June 18-20

Event to be Built by The Home Depot

ATLANTA (March 4, 2004) – Based on the success of the inaugural Titan Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today plans for a second Titan Games competition to be held June 18-20, 2004 in Atlanta, Ga. The Road To Athens for America’s elite boxers, fencers, shot-putters, wrestlers, weightlifters, judo and taekwondo athletes will go through Atlanta in a tune-up against the world’s best in each of these sports.

The 2004 Titan Games will be Built by Home Depot, as the Atlanta-based home improvement retailer will be the presenting sponsor of the event*. Other initial sponsors supporting the event include Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines and adidas.

With U.S. Olympic Team athletes expected to compete in all seven sports, the 2004 Titan Games will be unprecedented in assembling the most U.S. Olympic Team members ever prior to the start of Olympic competition. The event will come less than two months before the start of the Olympic Games in Athens and for many of the athletes, the competition will serve as the final test before touching down in Greece.

“I’m really excited about having a second Titan Games,” said 2000 Olympian and last year’s Titan Games showstopper in weightlifting, Shane Hamman. “I thought it was one of the greatest events ever put on by the USOC, so I’m excited to do it all over again. It’s going to be one of the two main events for us, besides the Olympics, and with it being halfway between the Olympic Trials and Olympic Games, I know the weightlifting team will be putting on some really big performances.”

The USOC and the Atlanta Sports Council have a three-year agreement for the Titan Games, with Atlanta hosting the event in 2004 and 2005, with the final year still to be determined. The inaugural Titan Games was held in San Jose, Calif., and its edgy, fast-paced showcase of Olympic sports was popular among athletes, National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and fans.

The 1996 Olympic Games host city will use the state-of-the-art Philips Arena as the main competition venue and Centennial Olympic Park as the backdrop for the shot put.

“The Titan Games was one of our most successful ventures in 2003,” said Jim Scherr, USOC Chief Executive and Chief of Sport Performance. “The continuation of this event will give U.S. athletes elite competition opportunities in their preparation for Athens without the rigors of traveling overseas and will give spectators and sponsors a preview of what awaits in these sports.

“The USOC is happy to be taking this property to Atlanta as the city builds upon its Olympic legacy,” Scherr added. “This partnership with Atlanta is the start of the USOC’s new strategy to build better relationships with key communities across the country. We are committed to city-partnering as we look to build and expand our Olympic brand, and Atlanta should serve as the perfect model as we move ahead in this effort.”

A property of the USOC in partnership with the affiliated NGBs, the Titan Games will feature a “USA versus the World” format in triangular and quadrangular meets. Elite athletes representing the United States and other world sports powers, including U.S. Olympic Team members, are expected to participate along with many past Olympic, World and World Cup medalists. The USOC is seeking a top-three world-ranked team in each sport and has received verbal commitments from Hungary (No. 3) in weightlifting, Korea (No. 1) in taekwondo and the Republic of Georgia (No. 1) in wrestling.

The unique mini-sports festival will feature competition in five Olympic combat sports. Spectators will be entertained with simultaneous action happening on four “battle zones.” Ancillary events of the Titan Games also include a Night of Champions, which honors past and current greats among the Titan Games sports, as well as an outdoor event complete with live music and more.

The opening of the Titan Games will coincide with the Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and Samsung, on June 18 and plans have been made to bring the two events together to provide an even greater festival within Centennial Olympic Park. Prior to the arrival of the Olympic Torch, the Titan Games will stage a shot put competition featuring some of the world’s top male and female shot-putters. Titan Games organizers, in cooperation with Budweiser and Coca-Cola, will provide live entertainment for fans as part of Budweiser’s True Music Series.

“The Titan Games was one of the best events on our calendar last year,” said Eric Parthen, USA Boxing Executive Director. ”The timing of the Titan Games, the top international competition and the ability to compete in the U.S. makes it attractive in the eyes of our boxers and coaches as they make those final preparations and assessments needed for Olympic success.”

“Since hosting the Summer Games in 1996, Atlanta has developed a tremendous Olympic legacy by hosting and scheduling nine different Olympic-style events,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Sports Council President. “There are very few cities in the world that earn a distinction as an Olympic city, and we are very proud of our city’s support of international events at all levels.”

Tickets for the event will go on sale March 15 with a ticket distributor to be announced prior to that date.

The Atlanta Sports Council, a division of the metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, promotes the value of sports growth in Atlanta and Georgia by acting as an authority on the economic impact, visibility and quality of life issues associated with sports. Its mission is to lead, organize and support sports development with the goal of building Atlanta’s reputation as the Sports Capital of the World. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact the U.S. Olympic Committee Media & Public Relations Division at (719) 866-4529 or Matt Garvey of the Atlanta Sports Council at (404) 586-8496.

*For more information on Home Depot’s sponsorship agreement, please see corresponding “Home Depot”release.

Matt Garvey

Director of Communications

Atlanta Sports Council | Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl


Whit Smith Does it Again!

Whit Smith Does it Again! MLC Junior Wins Fifth Straight NAIA High Jump Title
Midland Lutheran junior Whit Smith, from Waterloo, Nebraska, won his fifth straight NAIA national championship in the high jump. His latest championship is the 2004 indoor title after he cleared 6-11.5 on Friday at the NAIA National Indoor Track and Field Championships in Jackson, Tennessee. Smith also won the indoor titles in 2002 and 2003, and he won the outdoor titles as well in 2002 and 2003.
Smith is coached by jumps coach Justin Horner, while Jim McMahon is the head track and field coach at Midland Lutheran.
For complete results from the NAIA National Indoor Track Championships CLICK HERE.

Corey Westra
Great Plains Athletic Conference
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