U.S. Department of State Announces St. Petersburg Sports Envoy Program

Media Note
Washington, DC
February 10, 2014

In conjunction with the 2014 Winter Olympics, the U.S. Department of State announces a figure skating Sports Envoy program, February 15–18 in St. Petersburg, Russia, featuring reigning Olympic champion Evan Lysacek and 2010 Winter Olympian Rachael Flatt. Sports exchanges are a key component of the U.S.–Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s efforts to strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and Russia.

The duo will celebrate the 140th anniversary of modern figure skating introduced in Russia by American skater and ballet dancer, Jackson Haines. Lysacek will travel to St. Petersburg from Sochi, where he is working as an Olympic analyst. The 2010 gold medalist last served as a Sports Envoy on behalf of the United States in Belarus and Sweden in 2012. He will be accompanied by Flatt, a Stanford University student who competed in the Vancouver Games in 2010. While in Sochi, Lysacek and Flatt will conduct clinics with local youth athletes of all skill levels and abilities, and will engage university audiences on healthy living, the spirit of the Olympics, and the ability of sports to bring together people regardless of culture or background.

Since 2003, the State Department has brought nearly 1,000 athletes from more than 60 countries to the United States to participate in sports visitor programs while sending over 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries on sports envoy programs. By overseeing the State Department’s sports diplomacy programming, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs involves traditionally underrepresented audiences.

To learn more about the U.S. Department of State’s celebration of the 2014 Winter Olympics and sports diplomacy, please enjoy Olympic Figure Skater and U.S. State Department Senior Advisor for Public Diplomacy Michelle Kwan’s video address here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ0scaW0qdw.

Follow the sports envoy program using @sportsdiplomacy on Twitter or the hashtags #Sochi2014 and #TeamUSA.

Media contact: Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at eca-press@state.gov.