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Rulon Gardner among four Olympians and Paralympians to receive Olympic Spirit Award, sponsored by Nu



SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - (February 23, 2001) The United States Olympic Committee announced today in Salt Lake City that Sydney Olympic gold medalists Rulon Gardner and Laura Wilkinson are the recipients of the coveted U.S. Olympic Spirit Award, sponsored by Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE: NUS). For the first time in the history of the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award, the American public selected the winners in a vote conducted almost entirely online. In keeping with the spirit of the Olympic Games, two Paralympians - high jumper Marlon Shirley and tandem cyclist Pamala Fernandes - also received Paralympic Spirit Award honors. All four winners were on hand to receive their honors and accept a donation made in their names to Olympic-related charities from the award sponsors, Nu Skin and Pharmanex. The donations in the names' of Gardner and Wilkinson were made to the Olympians for Olympians Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that assists former Olympians who have encountered hardships. Fernandes selected the U.S. Association for Blind Athletes, while Shirley chose Disabled Sports USA. "We are proud to honor the Olympic athletes who inspired us all and showed us what mankind is capable of, not just in sport, but in character and courage," said Steven J. Lund, president and CEO of Nu Skin Enterprises. Created in 1988 by the USOC, the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award honors one male and one female Olympic athlete and one male and one female Paralympic athlete, who best exemplifies true Olympic Spirit in the face of adversity. Past winners include Dan Jansen (1988, 1994), Greg Louganis (1988), Gail Devers (1992), Carl Lewis (1996) and Kerri Strug (1996). "I am overwhelmed by the honor of receiving an award that lists my name with past winners who have served as role models throughout my entire life," said Wilkinson. Gardner added, "Winning has never been as important as overcoming obstacles to achieve the goals I've set. I'm humbled by the fact that receiving this award means my Olympic experience has helped inspire others to do the same." Among the seven Olympic nominees - four males and three females - selected by a panel of U.S. Olympic alumni, Gardner won 48 percent of the votes, edging out Lance Armstrong - bronze medalist in cycling, and Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana - gold medalists in beach volleyball. Gardner, who won the gold medal in the heavyweight division of Greco-Roman wrestling, competing for the first time in the Olympic Games, faced "wrestler-of-the-century" Aleksandr Karelin in the finals. It was no small upset when Rulon won the gold medal, defeating the Russian wrestler who had never lost in international competition. Wilkinson won 54 percent of the vote, more than nominees Misty Hyman - gold medalist, 200-meter butterfly, and Tara Nott - gold medalist, weightlifting. Wilkinson, who won a gold medal in platform diving, has a comparable story to tell. In addition to the fact that no American woman had won the platform diving gold medal in 36 years, Wilkinson had other major obstacles to face. During pre-Olympic trial training, she broke three bones in her right foot, which did not heal correctly. The doctors said she needed surgery, but she opted to put it off until the end of the Olympic Games. Enduring much pain, her five final dives earned the gold medal. For the Paralympians, both winners represent tremendous stories of achievement. Shirley holds world records in the high jump and the long jump, and won the Gold in the 100 meters T44 and the Silver in the Men's High Jump F46 at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney. Ranked in the top five in the world in both the 100 meters and 200 meters, Shirley has never let losing his foot in a lawn mower accident at age five keep him from realizing his athletic goals. Fernandes knows the true meaning of courage. She lost her sight due to diabetes at the age of 21 and then, shortly before the Paralympic Games, broke her foot. Overcoming both of these challenges, she and her pilot Al Whaley, set a new Paralympic record and went on to win the Gold in the Mixed Tandem Sprint 200 meters. The pair also brought home the Silver in the Mixed Tandem Sprint. Nu Skin Enterprises and its subsidiaries, Nu Skin and Pharmanex, are the official sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award. Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: NUS), through its subsidiaries Nu Skin and Pharmanex, is an Official Sponsor, in the direct selling category, for nutritional and personal care products at the Salt Lake 2002 Games and for the 2000, 2002 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. Nu Skin Enterprises is one of the largest direct selling companies in the world, and its products are sold in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. The company's stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NUS."
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