MINNEAPOLIS--()--Three outstanding gold-medal athletes fresh off the competitive slopes of the Vancouver games mark yet another victorious American milestone by earning elite Breakfast of Champions® status. Super snowboarder Shaun White, Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, and snowboard cross veteran Seth Wescott each officially unveiled today their original Wheaties box, which represents several firsts for their respective winter sporting events. White and Wescott are the first snowboard and snowboard cross athletes to earn a spot on the coveted orange breakfast cereal cover. Vonn is the first female Alpine skier to win gold and appear on a Wheaties box.
“Having your very own Wheaties box is something many athletes strive for; so today it is an incredible feeling to see my box and know it represents determination, hard work and focus in a sport that’s relatively new to the winter games”
White – Takes Home Halfpipe Glory…Again
Internationally recognized snowboarding sensation Shaun White earned top podium honors in Vancouver in the halfpipe competition, adding to his first gold-medal win in Turin, Italy in 2006. White’s Vancouver gold made history as he became the first two-time halfpipe gold medalist in winter games competition. White demonstrated near superhuman tricks, including his signature Double McTwist 1260, landing them with artistic perfection and soaring past the competition at Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain.
“It’s great being on a Wheaties box,” said White. “I remember being a kid and looking up to the guys whose faces were on these boxes and thinking how cool it was. I’m just stoked that Wheaties wanted me on the box and I can represent my sport in such a great way.”
Vonn – Conquering the Slopes
In her spectacular, determined run down Vancouver’s Whistler Mountains, Lindsey Vonn hails as the first American woman to win an Alpine downhill race in the winter games. She also secured a hard-fought bronze medal in the super-G competition. Despite numerous obstacles, the 25-year-old Vonn triumphed by securing two medals to add to her numerous world-class champion wins.
“I’m thrilled to represent both America and the sport I love on my Wheaties box,” said Vonn. “Growing up in Minnesota, it’s an honor to share a local connection with the Breakfast of Champions. I cherish this achievement and hope to serve as a positive role model for future Alpine skiers who someday may earn rights to Wheaties box fame.”
Vonn is the first American woman to win back-to-back overall World Cup championships in 2008 and 2009, and she leads this season’s current standings.
Wescott – Seasoned Competitor Delivers Another Golden Moment
Seth Wescott is the first and only athlete to win gold in snowboard cross (SBX) at the most prestigious international competition of all. First, in Turin, Italy four years ago, Wescott won the inaugural men’s snowboard cross winter games competition. Again, in Vancouver last month, he proved to a global audience that he was worthy of a second gold-medal win when he came from behind and secured top honors in a sport that he has helped bring to mainstream audiences. Wescott holds numerous victories in a variety of snowboard cross events and he is a frequent podium finisher.
“Having your very own Wheaties box is something many athletes strive for; so today it is an incredible feeling to see my box and know it represents determination, hard work and focus in a sport that’s relatively new to the winter games,” said Wescott. “To earn two consecutive gold medals means so much, and the culmination of now having a Wheaties box is the icing on the cake.”
“Shaun, Lindsey and Seth carry the Wheaties torch with a competitive spirit and sensational athleticism that demands nationwide recognition,” said Dan Stangler, Wheaties marketing. “Few athletes leave the kind of lasting impression on fans as our Wheaties champs do following their respective winter sport competitions. They are superb role models and embody the talent, heart and strength that make up today’s Breakfast of Champions roster. We congratulate them on all of their outstanding achievements – and we warmly welcome them to the Wheaties family of elite athletes.”
The newest Wheaties packages will be available nationally beginning next month as the Breakfast of Champions continues the ongoing tradition of honoring great American athletes dating back to Johnny Weismuller and Babe Didrikson in the 1930s. Over the course of numerous winter games competitions, many great American athletes have graced the Wheaties box, including Sarah Hughes, Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team, the 1998 U.S. women’s hockey team, and most recently in 2006 Apolo Anton Ohno and Joey Cheek. Other champion skiers, all of whom earned back-of-the-box Wheaties accolades, include: Gretchen Fraser (1951) for her gold medal in slalom skiing and a silver medal in Alpine skiing; Cindy Nelson was featured (1975) as a tribute to her bronze medal in the downhill race; and Phil and Steve Mahre secured silver and gold medals respectively in skiing competitions (1987).
Born out of a fortunate mistake in 1924, original Wheaties was created when a health clinician accidentally spilled a wheat bran mixture onto a hot stove. The result was tasty, crispy wheat flakes that became known as Washburn’s Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes. A year later, the cumbersome name was shortened to Wheaties. Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was the first athlete featured on a Wheaties Box, when he appeared on the back cover in 1934. In 1958, American champion pole-vaulter Bob Richards was the first person to appear on the front of the package, jumpstarting the phenomenon of “being on the Wheaties box,” which has since been graced by some of the greatest athletes of all time, including Bruce Jenner, Walter Payton, Mary Lou Retton, and many others. To view a complete timeline of Wheaties Champions, visit www.wheaties.com.
The Breakfast of Champions® and Wheaties® are registered trademarks of General Mills
Wheaties is not an official sponsor or supplier of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
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