ANAHEIM, Ca. and LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 29) – America’s first-ever eight-time medalist Michael Phelps and his gold medalist teammates Lenny Krayzelburg and Ian Crocker, in their first public appearances in the United States since winning in Greece, will meet and swim with young American swimming stars of tomorrow in 12 cities across the country during “Disney’s Swim with the Stars” tour. The nationwide tour begins August 31 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and ends at Disneyland Resort in California.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of winning the gold medal and shouting ‘I’m going to Disney World,” said Phelps. “Now I’m really doing it – and going to Disneyland too!”
Phelps earned a record-tying eight medals (six gold, two bronze) in Athens and will now visit Walt Disney World Resort in Florida with U.S. swimming teammates Crocker and Krayzelburg (both Athens gold medalists for the 400-meter medley relay) upon returning to the United States. On Aug. 31, the three swimming champions will serve as grand marshals in a celebratory parade in their honor at the Magic Kingdom and lead a special swimming clinic at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park. The swimmers will then leave Orlando on September 5 and embark on “Disney’s Swim with the Stars” tour, visiting key cities across the United States.
In addition to sponsoring the tour, the Disney theme parks are creating a special community outreach program that will take place at one school in each tour city. Local deserving schoolchildren will have the rare opportunity to meet Phelps, Crocker and Krayzelburg in a motivational 30-minute, morning, personal appearance filled with expert tips, encouragement and a surprise appearance by Mickey Mouse – – an unforgettable and inspirational experience for schoolchildren across the country.
“Disney’s Swim with the Stars” tour will culminate at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, bringing the three gold medal winners to the park as it prepares to celebrate its golden anniversary in 2005. Following their award-winning athletic performances in Athens and their cross-country tour, it’s only fitting their journey should end at “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
“Disney is all about turning dreams into realities and through this tour it’s our goal to share the spirit of accomplishment and pride these great athletes generated in Athens with the gold medal winners of tomorrow in communities across the country,” said Jay Rasulo, president, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “There is nothing more important than sparking the imaginations of our kids and making them realize that anything is possible – – Michael Phelps, Ian Crocker and Lenny Krayzelburg proved in Greece that dreams can become realities.”
“We’re very proud and excited to be the title host sponsor for this extraordinary tour where these remarkable athletes will inspire and motivate today’s young people to pursue their dreams and goals,” said Michael Mendenhall, executive vice president, global marketing, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “It’s our hope that kids across America will be encouraged to make their dreams come true like these three gold medalists.”
Each city stop will also feature a first-of-its-kind, two-hour swimming celebration show, presented by Disney, which will showcase the unparalleled accomplishments of each swimmer in a unique, exciting and intimate atmosphere. Each show will be filled with special insight into the stars’ races and strokes; including demonstrations, rematches from Athens and a relay with the stars and special guests.
“Disney’s Swim with the Stars” tour was developed by Octagon and its clients, Michael Phelps, Ian Crocker and Lenny Krayzelburg. Octagon is a global sports and entertainment marketing company.
“DISNEY’S SWIM THE STARS” TOUR ITINERARY
1. Orlando / Walt Disney World Resort (8/31 – 9/2)
2. Atlanta (9/3 – 9/5)
3. New York City (9/6 – 9/9)
4. Baltimore (9/10 – 9/12)
5. Chicago (9/13 – 9/15)
6. Dallas (9/16 – 9/18)
7. Denver (9/19 – 9/20)
8. Las Vegas (9/21 – 9/23)
9. Salt Lake City (9/24 – 9/25)
10. Seattle (9/26 – 9/27)
11. San Francisco (9/28 – 9/30)
12. Anaheim / Disneyland Resort (10/4 – 10/5)