New York, NY (February 1, 2005) – Olympic champions and two of the best swimmers in the world, Australian Ian Thorpe (2000: 3 Gold, 2 Silver; 2004: 2 Gold, Silver, Bronze) and American Michael Phelps (2000; 2004: 6 Gold, 2 Bronze) will be on hand on Sunday, February 6 at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida, to lend support to New York’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

New York’s bid will be featured on the Jumbotron at ALLTEL Stadium before the big game between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Also, Phelps and Thorpe will be available for media interviews during Super Bowl Sunday.

“It would be tremendous for the entire country to have the 2012 Olympics in New York,” said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. “New York is home to our NFL headquarters and I am certain New Yorkers would warmly welcome the athletes who would come in from all over the world. We are fortunate to have two remarkable Olympians in Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps join us here in Jacksonville this weekend to offer their support.” 

“It is a great feeling to be at such a high-profile event like the Super Bowl to spotlight New York’s Olympic bid,” said Thorpe. “Much like at the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, there is an atmosphere of excitement that takes over. These competitors are the best at what they do and are doing it on their sports biggest stage. New York City will offer the same to Olympic athletes, an energetic and passionate crowd with love for sports.”     

“I am honored to be here at Super Bowl XXXIX to celebrate New York’s Olympic bid with the NFL,” said Phelps.  “I hope to be competing in 2012 and can’t think of a better location than New York City. Like the Super Bowl, the Games are an event unlike any other and deserve the energy and enthusiasm that a City like New York would give it.”

Thorpe and Phelps will be available for interviews from 3-9 PM (EST) in Jacksonville at ALLTEL Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. Please contact Katie Bergius on 212-486-7070.