Right To Play/United States/news and media/Olympians To Support Online Auction
 
For Immediate Release

Right To Play calls on Olympians to support Online Auction

Athletes donate sports memorabilia to auction powered by Lenovo; creating more online opportunities for athletes and fans to connect

BEIJING, August 14, 2008 Right To Play today kicks off its online auction of athletes’ Olympic memorabilia and sports gear from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. In the ultimate show of sportsmanship, Olympians are donating items they hope will raise money in support of Right To Play programs. Right To Play is an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children and communities around the world. The auction, powered by Lenovo, can be found at www.righttoplay.com/athleteauction

"Right To Play was founded on the idea that every child should have the right to play, and that when children play, the world wins," said Johann Olav Koss, President and CEO, Right to Play. "With our extensive roster of Athlete Ambassadors from over 40 countries, we wanted to tap into the power of the Games to connect people in support of our programs that bring sport and play to children all over the world. We are delighted that Lenovo has joined us in this effort to raise funds."

"Lenovo wants to create new ways to help fans experience these Olympic Games," said Deepak Advani, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Lenovo. "The Right to Play Olympic memorabilia auction is a great way to make connections between fans and athletes. Athletes are supporting a worthwhile cause, inspiring fans to do the same thing, and giving them a chance to own a piece of Olympic history."

Olympic athletes from around the world, including Canadian kayaking champion Adam van Koeverden, US track and field star Lauryn Williams, British swimmer Mark Foster and Spanish basketball sensation Jose Calderon, are just some that are getting involved. Athletes are visiting the Right To Play booth in the Olympic Village to learn more about the auction. Some of the athletes are filming short video clips in the Lenovo i.lounge describing their journey to the Olympics. Video clips are then posted online with the visual, description of the auction items and starting bid.

"I had the opportunity to experience what Right To Play does first hand when I visited Liberia in 2007," said van Koeverden. "I was so moved by the positive impact that Right To Play programs had on children and their communities. Being around these children and seeing the difference that sport can make in their lives was a life-changing event. I hope that as 2008 Olympians, we will rise to the challenge and make some valuable contributions to this great initiative."

"Like the Olympic Games, Right To Play and Lenovo are dedicated to putting teamwork and sportsmanship into action," said Kerri Walsh, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in Volleyball, as well as medal-contender and Lenovo Champion for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. "They’re using the Olympic Games as a platform to do some really great work. The auction is a worthwhile cause that I’m happy to be a part of. Don’t miss your chance to bid now."

The Right To Play online auction runs through August 25 at www.righttoplay.com/athleteauction and items will be added daily. Some of the items online will include:

1. Canadian Flag bearer and Olympic kayaker, Adam Van Koeverden, donated his Flag Bearer’s sash, signed by the Canadian Olympic team present at the Beijing Opening Ceremonies.

2. 2008 Olympic Handball Penant/Flag has been signed and donated by the Chinese Handball Team

3. Left hand prints on rice paper with signatures from a variety of Olympians in celebration of International Left-Handers Day

4. Signed Olympic Tennis Uniform (Swiss) donated by Timea Bacsinszky

5. Signed Olympic Badminton uniform (Ukraine) donated by Larisa Griga

 

About Right to Play
Right To Play is an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, build life skills, and foster peace for children and communities affected by war, poverty and disease. Right To Play has projects in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Top athletes from more than 40 countries already volunteer their support for the organization as Athlete Ambassadors. Right To Play programs aim to teach children important life skills and values, educate communities around health issues and disease prevention, encourage integration and tolerance and empower people to make a difference in their communities.

About Lenovo
Lenovo (992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games and Olympic Torch Relay, supplying 30,000 pieces of computing equipment to support the Olympic Games. Lenovo is also the designer of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch. Lenovo is dedicated to building the world's most innovative personal computers. Lenovo's business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group's acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. For more information, see www.lenovo.com.

Contacts:

Laura Currie
Right To Play
lcurrie@righttoplay.com
Beijing:  +86 (135) 5231-9874
Tamara Jacobs
Ketchum
Tamara.jacobs@ketchum.com
Beijing:  +86 150 7720 7753