The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) unveiled a series of six public service announcements entitled “My health. My sport. My victory. I compete clean,” USADA Chief Executive Officer Terry Madden announced Friday.
The public service announcements highlight seven athletes who are 2004 Olympic hopefuls, including a pair of past Olympic medal winners.
“These public service announcements were developed to showcase athletes, who work hard, elect not to the use of performance-enhancing substances and compete with the spirit of the sport in mind,” said Madden. “We anticipate that these PSAs will provide an encouraging message to athletes of all ages and abilities throughout the nation that you can succeed and live a healthier life without the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The relationship between an athlete and sport is special and worth protecting.”
Shot putter John Godina (Northridge, Calif.) and weightlifter Tara (Nott) Cunningham (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.) are two of the featured athletes in USADA’s PSA campaign. Godina and Cunningham are pursuing additional medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Godina collected a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics and a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics, while Cunningham won a gold medal in the women’s weightlifting competition in 2000.
Godina and Cunningham are members of the USADA Athlete Ambassador program, which involves current and retired athletes contributing to USADA’s educational programs.
Softball pitcher Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.), track cyclist Giddeon Massie (Bethlehem, Pa.), kayakers Jeanne and Marie Mijalis (Miami, Fla.) and archer Guy Krueger (Blessing, Texas) are part of the PSA campaign, and vying to represent the United States at the 2004 Olympics. Biographies on each of the seven athletes involved this campaign can be found at the end of this release.
The public services announcements were produced by Industrial Park, a New York-based production company headed by Jackie Bisbee. Mike Dignum and Audrius Barzdukas of Los-Angeles-based Chaos coordinated the spots, while Michael Schenk produced the PSAs.
USADA is the independent anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States, and is responsible for managing the testing and adjudication process for U.S. Olympic, Pan Am and Paralympic athletes. USADA is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
ATHLETE BIOGRAPHIES – U.S. ANTI-DOPING AGENCY PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (page 1 of 2)
John Godina – Track and Field – shot put (Cheyenne, Wyo./Northridge, Calif.)
A three-time world outdoor (1995, 1997, 2001) and 2001 world indoor shot put champion, Godina, 31, captured the silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games and bronze at the 2000 Olympics in the shot put. In addition, he earned a silver medal at the 1999 and 2003 World Indoor Championships, as well as a bronze at the 1997 World Championships. He also has earned two discus (1997-98) and three shot put (1998-99, 2001) national titles, and has been ranked among the top five in the world in the shot put for nine consecutive years (1995-2003). He also won the 1998 and 2001 Jesse Owens Award, which is presented annually to the outstanding male and female performers of United States track and field, long distance running and race walking. Godina is a member of USADA’s Athlete Ambassador Program.
Tara (Nott) Cunningham – Weightlifting (Mount Pleasant, Mich.)
(Nott) Cunningham became the initial U.S. female weightlifter, and first American weightlifter since the 1960 Olympics, to win an Olympic medal when she captured the 48-kilogram weight class at the Sydney Olympics. She was awarded the gold medal after Izabela Dragneva of Bulgaria tested positive for a prohibited substance and was ruled ineligible. A former soccer player, Cunningham, 31, has six national weightlifting titles, and finished among the top-10 at five world championships (1997-99, 2002-03). Cunningham is also a member of USADA’a Athlete Ambassador Program.
Jennie Finch – Softball – pitcher (La Mirada, Calif.)
A member of the gold medal-winning U.S. squad at the 2003 Pan American Games and 2002 ISF World Championships, Finch earned all-America honors on three occasions (2000-02) during her collegiate career at Arizona. She is a member of the 2004 U.S. National Team, which is the group of athletes that will be selected from to represent the U.S. at the 2004 Olympics.Finch, 23, set an NCAA record for consecutive wins (60), and twice named the outstanding collegiate player of the year. She posted a career college record of 109-16, while striking out 1,082 in 876 innings.
Guy Krueger – Archery (Blessing, Texas/San Diego)
He earned a gold medal in the team competition and was the silver medallist in the individual competition at the 2003 Pan American Games. Krueger, 23, is a resident–athlete at the Chula Vista (Calif.) Olympic Training Center, and was a member of the 2003 U.S. squad at the Archery World Championships in New York’s Central Park. He placed third at last year’s national championships. As a collegiate archer for Texas A&M University, Krueger won the 2000 World University Championships in Madrid and won the bronze medal at the 2002 World University Championships in Thailand. He started shooting archery at the age of nine because he received a toy bow for Christmas. Krueger also plans on becoming the national coach after accomplishing his Olympic dreams.
Giddeon Massie – Track cycling (Bethlehem, Pa.)
In 2003, for the second consecutive year, Massie, 22, won the team sprint national championship and finished second in the match sprint. In addition, he garnered a gold medal in the Keirin and silver in the match sprint at the 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic. A three-time World Championship team member (1999, 2002-03), Massie is a resident-athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and finished fifth in the team sprint at the Junior World Championships in 1999. Massie graduated from Faith Christian Academy and plays the clarinet.
ATHLETE BIOGRAPHIES – U.S. ANTI-DOPING AGENCY PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (page 2 of 2)
Jeanne Mijalis – Kayak – sprint (Miami, Fla./San Diego)
A member of the U.S. squad with the Under-23 European Tour Team, Mijalis won the national championships in the 1st K-4W 500m and earned two second-place finishes (K-2W 200m, K-4W 200m), after finishing third in the K-2 500m. In 2001, she earned a bronze medal at World Cup #3 in Mantes la Jolie, France (K-2 1000m). Mijalis earned four medals at the 2000 Miyoshi Ladies Cup International Regatta in Nagoya, Japan, and six medals at the 1999 junior national championships. A recent graduate of UC San Diego, she competed at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials. Mijalis is a resident-athlete at ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista (Calif.) and graduated from Ransom Everglades School in 1999. She is the twin sister of Marie Mijalis.
Marie Mijalis – Kayak – sprint (Miami, Fla./San Diego)
Mijalis was a member of the U.S. squad at the 2002 Sprint World Championships Team and Under-23 European Tour Team. Mijalis also competed at the 2001 and 2002 World Championships. She won the national championships in the 1,000m and earned two second-place finishes (K-2W 200m, K-4W 500m). A recent graduate of UC San Diego, Mijalis is a resident-athlete at ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, (Calif.) and graduated from Ransom Everglades School in 1999. She is the twin sister of Jeanne Mijalis.
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