The 2012 Summer Olympics have begun, and all of us at O.C. Tanner are excited about the London Games! We fondly recall our singular experience with the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, when we were the manufacturers of the Olympic medals and Team USA rings. Since 2000, we have been honored to donate the team rings for each Summer and Winter Olympics.
O.C. Tanner employees are heavily involved in the design and development of the team rings, and we all feel connected to the athletes. I recently received an email from an employee in our Chicago sales office, which really sums up why we provide the U.S. Olympic team rings:
“I saw a very special moment during the Olympic Track and Field trials. When Kellie Wells finished the 100-meter hurdles in second place, she erupted with excitement, jumping around and screaming about how she would get a ring. An NBC reporter attempted to get an interview with the top three finishers, but wasn’t able to due to Kellie’s excitement over making the team and earning the ring. The commentator said, ‘She is screaming about a ring and I have no idea what she is talking about!’”
But we know what she was excited about. These young athletes work for years to realize their dream. Their goal is to compete at the highest levels of their sport, and through training, teamwork and determination, they earn the privilege of representing their sport and country. All are champions. A few receive the ultimate recognition for their achievement—an Olympic medal presented on the winner’s podium—but every U.S. team member earns a ring that becomes a permanent, tangible symbol of their achievement.
We will all watch and cheer the athletes over the next several weeks! We’re honored and thrilled to play a small role in recognizing and appreciating these amazing accomplishments. We’re also pleased to sponsor the Inspiration Award, which honors the behind-the-scenes superstars who mentored and inspired the Olympic athletes through their individual journey, but will never receive an Olympic medal of their own. Read the inspiring nominations from the athletes and vote for your favorite story, now through August 12.