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Six Months to Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and U.S. Olympians and hopefuls are commemorating the six-month countdown to 2010 Olympic Winter Games being held in Vancouver with a look ahead to next February. The Opening Ceremony will be held six months from today - Feb. 12, 2010 - at BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver.

"It's just six months until the largest sporting event in the world," said five-time Olympic short track speedskating medalist Apolo Anton Ohno. "Every day we train from here on out is with purpose and passion."

Approximately 5,500 athletes will compete in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, representing more than 80 countries. The U.S. team will be made up of approximately 215 athletes. The athletes will compete in 86 medal events in the sports of biathlon, bobsled, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, skeleton, skiing (alpine, cross country, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping, snowboarding) and speedskating (short and long track).

NBC's "Today Show" featured special programming this morning titled "Countdown to Vancouver," with a look at the venues and the show's home base during the Games, Grouse Mountain Resort, located 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Reporter Natalie Morales also traveled to the Utah Olympic Park in Park City to watch 2006 Olympians Emily Cook and Jeret Peterson perform freestyle aerials demonstrations on the water ramps, providing a preview of what's to come next February.

"With six months to go, it's all about staying the course and keeping things consistent, focused and steady," Cook said. "It's all about the details. Occasionally, I'll allow myself a minute to get excited about Vancouver, and yes, I am excited that it's so close! But quickly, it's back to business, and back to the calm consistency of training. I've never felt this prepared going into an Olympics, and there is still work to be done to be even more prepared, but I am definitely looking forward to February. Olympic energy is in the air at the Utah Olympic Park and at the U.S. Ski Team's Center of Excellence. "

Athlete selection procedures for the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team vary by each National Governing Body (NGB), and sport discipline. The USOC's Team Selection Working Group (TSWG), in cooperation with each NGB, manages the delegation review and approval process for all athlete and staff selection procedures. The athlete selection procedures for each sport/discipline have been attached to this article as well for your convenience.

Other Olympic Movement activity coinciding with the six-month countdown:

28 Days to the U.S. Olympic Media Summit

The U.S. Olympic Media Summit has become one of the most important events leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Taking place Sept. 9-12 at Chicago's Palmer House Hilton, it will be a preview of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, bringing together the top athletes from all winter sports to meet with the national and international print and broadcast media for three days of press conferences, radio and TV interviews, and photo shoots.

Approximately 85 athletes will participate in this year's event, including snowboarders Gretchen Bleiler and Hannah Teter; long track speed skater Chad Hedrick; figure skaters Evan Lysacek, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto;alpine skier Ted Ligety; and hockey player Angela Ruggiero.

Chicago 2016: 50 Days to the Vote

Today also marks 50 days remaining until the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selects a Host City for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Copenhagen, Denmark. On Oct. 2, the IOC will choose between Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid. Until the vote, Chicago 2016 will continue to build momentum, working with the public and private sectors, developing sport legacy programs, and capturing the imagination of the country and the world.