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I received this letter in September 2000. In a separate file, I have highlighted the cliches and overused expressions.

Dear Friend,

Have you ever wondered why the performances of our Olympic athletes fill us with such emotion?

It's because pride, dedication, sacrifice, and the will to win are embodied in all Americans. We have a uniquely American, undefinable, unshakable spirit within us which is brought to life through the performances of our Olympic athletes. They are set to take center stage in Sydney, Australia, and once again thrill the world with their remarkable talents.

Do you remember how wonderful and how proud you felt in 1980 when the young United States Hockey Team beat the powerful Soviet Team 4-3, and then went on to beat Finland 4-2 for the gold; the sight of Jim Craig skating around the arena with the American Flag draped across his back, tears of joy streaming down his face, looking for his father in the crowd; or in 1984 when 16 year old Mary Lou Retton, needing a 9.95 in her final event to tie for first place in the all around Gymnastics competition, vaulted her way to the gold by scoring a perfect 10?

I remember these moments, as I'm sure you do, and I also recall many other moving performances when our athletes reached deep within themselves to overcome what appeared to be insurmountable odds.

The story of our Olympic athletes is one of personal sacrifice, dedication to be the best in the world, and a desire to represent the people of the United States with pride.

But, our athletes can't do it alone. The success of our athletes and America's Olympic Movement depends on the support of proud individuals like you who know what it takes to be the best.

The United States Olympic Committee is funded by private donations, and provides essential support services for our athletes on a continuing basis. These services include coaching, training facilities, housing, medical treatment, and other support which is necessary for our athletes to reach their full potential.

America is the greatest nation in the world, and our athletes continually prove to the world how great a nation we truly are, thanks to the generous support of Olympic family members like you. Please accept the enclosed Olympic lapel pin as my gift, and wear it with pride. I hope you will help us continue the Olympic tradition of excellence.

Sincerely,

William J. Hybl

President

P.S. The Sydney games are fast approaching. As you watch our American athletes "go for the gold," you'll no doubt be filled with a tremendous sense of pride and joy. But remember one thing is very clear, no athlete, regardless of the sport, can win the Gold Medal without someone showing them the way. Please give whatever you can today. Thank you in advance for your support, and I hope you enjoy your Olympic lapel pin.

Visit our website for the latest U.S. Olympic news, athlete profiles and apparel. www.usoc.org

Your generous gift of $25 or more will earn you a Sydney T-shirt with the official Games logo!

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