Citi’s Team USA shows Olympic pride in L.I.C.


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com |

Photo Courtesy of Citi
Photo Courtesy of Citi

Olympic pride was on full display in Long Island City last week.

To commemorate the 100-day countdown to this summer’s Olympic Games in London, Citi’s Team USA Flag Tour visited the bank’s site in L.I.C. on April 18. Paralympian Kari Miller, who plays sitting volleyball, and Olympian swimmer Cullen Jones – both members of Team Citi through the bank’s Team USA sponsorship – were in attendance to celebrate and support the athletes that will represent the nation in London.

“Today’s event is a great way to celebrate the 100 day milestone to the London 2012 Olympic Games, and we are thrilled to have two Team Citi athletes here to share the spirit and excitement with our employees,” said Maria Veltre, president of Citi’s L.I.C. site. “Few know more about the journey from ambition and achievement than the athletes who dedicate their lives to representing the U.S. in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We at Citi could not be more proud to support them every step of the way to London.”

During the event, Miler and Jones addressed a crowd of more than 200 people, sharing their personal stories and discussing Citi’s Every Step of the Way program, which benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages across the country. Through the program, a $500,000 donation by Citi to the U.S. Olympic Committee is being represented by 50 million ThankYou Points – the currency of Citi ThankYou Rewards. Each of the 13 athletes on Team Citi chose a local sports initiative that inspired their journey, and the points will be used to aid the programs.

Jones, who nearly drowned at the age of five, is working with the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Initiative and is raising funds to support saving lives through swimming lessons.

“For Citi to sit back and look at me and the work I’ve been doing outside the pool and say ‘good job’ and we understand that you have inspired other people, you are inspired by these kids and want to help these kids, is a remarkable thing. I am so thankful,” said Jones.

Miller, a former member of the U.S. Army, lost both her legs when her car was struck by a drunk driver. She began working with the Olympic Committee’s Paralympic Military and Veteran Program in 2008 and is currently the program ambassador. She is raising money for a program which introduces wounded service members to Paralympic sports.

“The Every Step of the Way program is awesome because you are not just supporting me, you are supporting our veterans; you are supporting their families,” Miller said. “You have an opportunity to help them out.”