May 21, 1999
Release No. 029-99

CONTACT: Lois Herrmann
PHONE: (202) 619-4355

United States Information Agency - News Release

 USIA Grant Promotes International News Coverage Of Special Olympics World Summer Games In North Carolina

Washington, D.C. -- The United States Information Agency (USIA) has announced a $l.25 million grant to Special Olympics Inc., about two-thirds of which will support foreign and domestic media coverage of the 1999 World Summer Games, June 26 through July 4, 1999, in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. The remainder will help support the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Anchorage, Alaska.

The USIA grant, a Congressional initiative, will help fund the Summer Games Media Center and will bring journalists from 15 countries in Latin America, East Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union to cover the competition.

"USIA is delighted to help the Special Olympics in one of its important goals -- making the Games increasingly international. This movement, founded in the United States to help bring people with mental disabilities into the mainstream of life, sets a powerful example for every country and locality that becomes involved," said Associate Director for Educational and Cultural Affairs Dr. William Bader.

More than 7,000 athletes with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities from 150 countries will compete in the World Summer Games. The 1999 Games will celebrate the Special Olympics' 30-year tradition of providing people with mental disabilities a high-profile international platform to showcase their abilities and accomplishments. The next World Summer Games, in 2003, will take place in Dublin, Ireland, the first venue outside the United States

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The United States Information Agency, headed by Acting Director Penn Kemble, is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of information programs. The Agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

USIA's programs include the Voice of America, Radio and TV Mart­, the WORLDNET satellite television system, the daily Washington File newswire, the Fulbright scholarship program, the International Visitor Program, the Speakers and Specialists Program, three Foreign Press Centers in the United States, and a network of overseas resource and cultural centers. The Agency has 190 posts in 141 countries.

The USIA domestic server can be accessed through or through most search engines on the Internet.

United States Information Agency, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20547
Tel: (202) 619-4355, Fax: (202) 619-6988

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