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The "Freedom to Compete" Public Service Announcement (PSA) Series

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Jennifer Rodriguez

Born to a Cuban father and an American mother, Jennifer Rodriguez is believed to be the first athlete of Hispanic descent to compete in the Winter Games. She also is believed to be the first athlete from Miami to compete at the Olympic Winter Games. Rodriguez got her start on roller skates at the age of 4 and first tried ice skating late in 1996. She struggled initially, but it didn't take long for her to become one of the nation's best ice speed skaters. She competed in her first all-around U.S. Championships in 1997 and placed an impressive fourth. A year later, she qualified for the Olympics in four events - the 1000 meters, the 1500, the 3000 and the 5000 -- and placed no worse than 13th in any of them. Her performance at the 1998 Nagano Games was highlighted by a fourth place in the 3000. Rodriguez captured her first U.S. all-around title in 2000, and recently garnered her fifth World Cup Medal of the season, earning the Silver Medal in January 2002. In the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Rodriguez won the bronze medals in the 1000 and 1500 meters, becoming the first Hispanic female to win a medal in the Winter Olympic Games.

Joshua Sundquist

At age nine, Joshua Sundquist was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma -- a rare form of bone cancer -- in his left leg. The tumor covered most of his femur, and he was given a fifty percent chance to live. When several months of chemotherapy treatments didn't shrink the tumor, the decision was made to amputate the leg at the hip. After the surgery, he decided there would be no looking back. While still continuing cheomotherapy for another nine months, he learned to ski and to bike ride with one leg. Now, seven years after treatment and cured of cancer, he continues to succeed on a daily basis. He is an avid mountain biker, swimmer and runner, but his favorite sport is skiing, which he took up competitively in 2000. Now finished with high school, Sundquist has moved to Colorado to train full-time in hopes of landing a spot on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team to compete in the 2006 Paralympics.

Lloyd D. Ward

Lloyd D. Ward was named Chief Executive Officer of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and began his tenure on November 1, 2001. He is the first African American to serve the USOC as its chief executive. Ward was the first African American CEO of a Fortune 500 company when he served as Chairman and CEO of the Maytag Corporation. He had worked for Maytag since 1996 and served in a variety of executive positions including Executive Vice President and President of Maytag Appliances. Most recently, he served as Chairman and CEO of iMotors.com, an Internet-based automotive sales and marketing company. He also enjoyed a successful career with Pepsico, Inc., from 1988 to 1996, serving as President, Frito-Lay, Inc. - Central Division from 1992 - 1996. The former captain of the Michigan State basketball team, he graduated in 1970 and earned his MBA degree in 1984 from Xavier University in Cincinnati. Ward serves on the Board of Directors of General Motors Corporation, J.P. Morgan Chase and Company, and the Belo Corporation. He previously served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House, the Dallay YMCA, Paul Quinn College, the Jimmy Johnson Foundation, and Inroad of Southwest Ohio. He was named one of the "Top 25 Executives of 1998" by Business Week magazine, one of BrandWeek magazine's "Marketers of the Year" in 1998, and Executive of the Year in 1995 by Black Enterprise magazine.