Special Olympics and America Online, Inc. Announce Partnership to Expand Special Olympics Awareness

Newly Created AOL Areas and Website Promise to Unite Thousands of Special Olympics Athletes, Family Members, Coaches and Volunteers Olympic Gold Medallist Kerri Strug and Special Olympics President & CEO Timothy Shriver Help Kick off Partnership and 30th Anniversary of Special Olympics w/ LIVE CHAT on AOL Live Dulles, VA July 20, 1998 -- Today, America Online, Inc. and Special Olympics announced a unique partnership to help expand Special Olympics awareness and unite thousands of Special Olympics athletes, coaches, volunteers, and family members around the world through a newly designed AOL area and Website. America Online, a Special Olympics Worldwide Sponsor, was also named the Official Internet Online Service of the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games. This announcement is made in conjunction with the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Special Olympics and is evidence of AOL's commitment to support non-profit organizations like Special Olympics. The partnership begins today with the unveiling of three online areas -- an AOL members' site available at Keyword: Special Olympics, a Special Olympics Website, available at www.specialolympics.org, and a private internal site on AOL. The members' site on AOL and the Website have been designed to enhance communications between Special Olympics athletes, coaches, family members, friends and volunteers. The private internal site has been designed to provide an interactive forum exclusively for the use of Special Olympics staffers worldwide to share ideas and information. The sites on AOL and the Web will deliver the latest news about the Special Olympics movement including: updates on celebrity involvement and Special Olympics sponsors, inspiring stories and profiles about Special Olympics heroes and athletes, and information on how to make donations to Special Olympics or get involved in the Special Olympics movement through volunteering. With AOL's audience of more than 12 million members and even millions more on the Web, these AOL created sites are working to expand Special Olympics goals, mission and awareness through this exciting new medium. To help kick off this newly formed partnership and to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Special Olympics, Olympic Gold Medallist Kerri Strug and Special Olympics President and CEO, Timothy Shriver, will participate in a live auditorium chat on AOL on Monday, July 20th at 9:30pm ET. AOL's more than 12 million members will have the opportunity to chat live with and ask questions of both Strug and Shriver about their involvement with and dedication to Special Olympics. "We're committed to supporting the Special Olympics movement through AOL's interactive community," said Bob Pittman, President and Chief Operating Officer of America Online, Inc. "Now, Special Olympics supporters and families can communicate with each other like never before while reaching out to millions of potential Special Olympics volunteers and supporters." "This new partnership will not only help to strengthen the ties among current Special Olympics participants, but it will also help to bring the Special Olympics message to the millions of people with mental retardation who have not yet experienced the joys that sports training and athletic competition can bring," said Tim Shriver, President and CEO of Special Olympics.

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