November 2017 – America’s athletes are ready for the Olympics, and so is New York City! Team USA’s Winterfest came to Times Square to kick off the countdown to the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
The Winterfest tour, which is stopping in 13 cities, offers fans and the media a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with US Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
From the stage overlooking the crossroads of the world, Team USA brought the energy and excitement of the Olympics to New Yorkers and tourists alike. With virtual reality experiences, interactive sports participation and meet and greets – New Yorkers got to experience the Olympics like never before!
New York has a special relationship with the Olympic Games. More Olympic athletes have been born in New York City – 366 to be exact – Than in any other city in America! In 1984 New York hosted the Paralympic Games and in that year, Team USA placed first in the medal count. Over the history of the modern Olympics, New York City has hosted 7 ticker tape parades for US teams and athletes. Some of the most notable Olympic ticker tape parades honored Jim Thorpe for track and field in 1912, Jesse Owens for frack and field in 1936 and Carol Hess for figure skating in 1960.
The United States Olympic Committee is a non-profit organization. In fact, the USOC is the only national Olympic Committee in the world that does not receive government funding. Instead, the USOC relies on sponsors and donors to provide America’s Olympic athletes the support they need to be competitive. A total of 84.7 Million dollars in grants – up 8.4 Million from 2015 – was distributed directly to the Olympic sport governing bodies, Paralympic organizations, and to athletes to train.
Team USA athletes expressed their passion for the Olympics and their anticipation of competing on the world stage. The theme of unity resonated throughout Times Square as the athletes bared their emotions.
The 2018 Games in Pyeongchang will be the 23rd Winter Olympics with 103 events across 15 sports. South Korea last hosted the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988. The distance from Pyeongchang to New York City is a little over 6,800 Miles. But for one day in Times Square, the Winter Olympics were right here on 42nd Street and Broadway!