Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 278-04
October 19, 2004


Hero’s Welcome Given to Nation’s Most Celebrated Olympians & Paralympians Including Paul Hamm & Kerri Walsh for their Outstanding Athletic Achievements During 2004 Olympic Games

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today welcomed more than forty Olympians and Paralympians - including many gold, silver and bronze medalists - to New York City, hailing them as "heroes" and "an inspiration to our children and all New Yorkers."  New York City's Welcome Rally was held at the A. Philip Randolph High School in Upper Manhattan, and celebrated the United States' strong performance in Athens this summer.  The event followed the U.S. Team's attendance at a ceremony in their honor at the White House on Monday.  At today's event, Mayor Bloomberg promised the athletes that he would do everything within his power to bring the Olympic Games to New York in 2012.

"In Athens this summer, the Olympians and Paralympians here today represented America with skill, spirit and tenacity in the finest tradition of competition," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Like them, New York City carries America's Olympic dreams. New Yorkers want the Olympic Games here in 'World's Second Home,' and we will do everything we can to make our bid, the winning bid.  That is my commitment to these athletes, and to the children whose school we are visiting today - any one of whom might be a hero of the 2012 Olympic Games."

Among the Olympians and Paralympians in attendance who competed in Athens this summer were Shawn Crawford, winner of the gold in the 200 meters; Kerri Walsh and Misty May, the gold-winning beach volleyball duo; accomplished Paralympian and New Yorker Kevin Szott, who won a bronze in judo; swimmer Gary Hall, Jr., winner of the second most medals in Olympic history; and the gold medalist in the men's all-around in gymnastics, Paul Hamm, along with his twin brother Morgan. 

"It is a terrific honor for all of us who represented the United States in Athens to come to New York and receive this tremendous welcome from Mayor Bloomberg and the youth of New York City," said Paul Hamm (Gymnastics: 2000, 2004 Gold, 2 Silver). "I love this City and could think of no better stage for an Olympic Games than this wonderfully diverse and inspirational place.  It welcomes us with incredible Olympic spirit today and would do same for athletes from the around the world in 2012."

New York is one of five Candidate Cities for the 2012 Olympic Games, competing with London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will name the Host City for the 2012 Games on July 6, 2005.  NYC2012, the not-for-profit established to lead the City's efforts to bring the Olympics to New York, is now in the final stages of completing New York's official bid submission, the Candidature File or "Bid Book," which is due on November 15, 2004.

"New York City has always been a place where people come to celebrate the American dream and achieve great things," said Daniel L. Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding and NYC2012 Founder.  "Now, as the possibility of attracting the world's greatest athletic event moves closer to reality, we are prepared to build the most impressive Olympic venues ever offered by a host city."

This past August, NYC2012 unveiled its adjusted venue plan, the Olympic X, which positions the majority of venues in three main clusters  along two transportation routes, one water and one rail, that intersect at the Olympic Village.  The Village, located across the river from the United Nations, puts athletes at the center of the Games in the heart of the City.  From the Village, athletes, coaches, and officials will enjoy quick and easy transportation to all venues and practice facilities.  Last May, the architectural firm Morphosis of Santa Monica, CA, was selected to design the Olympic Village with their plan: a long, sinuous ribbon of primarily low-rise buildings that skirt the waterfront and have beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, dramatically reducing the number of high-rise residences outlined in the original Village concept from 10 to 4. 

An Olympic Games in New York would leave a powerful legacy that will restore New York's connection to Olympic sports, creating new world-class venues, training centers for elite athletes and renovated fields for youth.  Additionally, the Games would spur the largest single investment in parks and recreational facilities in the City's history and bring a regional economic impact of over $12 billion.  For more information, visit NYC2012's official website at

Situated on the City College of New York campus, A. Philip Randolph High School students represent a multitude of different countries and languages, and many of its students excel in athletic competition. With more than 90% of its graduates planning on attending college, the school consistently distinguishes itself as one of the finest in New York City.


Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958

Laz Benitez / Iva Benson (NYC2012)   (646) 587-5426/5490

More Resources
View the photos
See the list of Olympians and Paralympians (pdf)
Watch the video in 56k or 300k