McDonald's has launched its McDonald's Champion Kids program in Beijing to enable up to 300 kids from around the world to travel to the 2008 Olympic Games to share their stories and experiences with their local communities and hometown news outlets.
"With the McDonald's Champion Kids program, we are making a significant investment to give hundreds of children the experience of a lifetime," said Mary Dillon, McDonald's global chief marketing officer. "These kids will reach out to thousands more, connecting with their worldwide peers to communicate the sights and sounds of the Olympic Games and the fascinating culture of China. It's another example of our commitment to the enrichment of children."
Six-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will serve as McDonald's Global Ambassador for the program. Joining Phelps to kick-off the program were International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge; Executive Vice President of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games Wang Wei; and Chinese Olympic gold medalist and McDonald's Champion Kids Ambassador in China Guo Jingjing.
"McDonald's unique Champion Kids program mirrors the passion we have for bringing together youth from around the world, connecting cultures and communities as only the Olympic Movement can," said IOC President Jacques Rogge.
In addition to the McDonald's Champion Kids program, the company will activate its most comprehensive Olympic Games plan to date, which includes a program called Feeding the World's Athletes. For the seventh consecutive Games, McDonald's will be the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games. The company is planning to build four restaurants in Beijing. One restaurant will be in the Athlete's Village, where McDonald's will be the only branded restaurant to feed the athletes, giving them a taste of home while in China. The three other McDonald's restaurants will serve spectators, officials and coaches, as well as the 20,000 media expected on site.
McDonald's became an Official Sponsor of the Olympic Games in 1976 and has a long-standing commitment to the Olympic Movement. At the 1968 Olympic Winter Games, McDonald's airlifted hamburgers to U.S. athletes competing in Grenoble, France, after they reported being homesick for McDonald's food. Since then, the company has served its menu of choice and variety to millions of athletes, coaches, their families and fans. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games mark McDonald's sixth Olympic Games as a Worldwide Partner and seventh as the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games. McDonald's current sponsorship will continue through the 2012 Games in London.