By Barry Janoff
September 23, 2015: World Cup U.S. women's soccer champion Carli Lloyd, three-time Olympic gold-medal volleyball star Kerri Walsh-Jennings and world-class Canadian swimmer Ryan Cochrane are among more than 30 athletes unveiled today as members of Team Visa, all of whom will be supported by the company as they seek spots on the Olympic and Paralympic teams participating in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The athletes were revealed today as part of a two-day Team Visa Summit at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco. Also shared were new mobile and payment technologies that are expected to be implemented at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, including Visa Checkout and Samsung Pay, as well as a preview of future payment technology applications including biometric payment options and wearables.
The Summit, which included San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and representatives of the International Olympic Committee, launched Visa’s year-long program leading up to the 2016 Games. Visa is expected to include some of the athletes in a multi-media marketing campaign that will break closer to the Olympic Games.
Visa, a top-tier global partner with the IOC as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee, began its official alliance with to the Olympics in 1986, with more than 300 athletes having been sponsored through the Team Visa program.
Visa's current deal with the IOC runs through 2020.
“The Rio 2016 Olympic Games will feature the latest technology and payment innovations that will enhance the Olympic experience for athletes, fans, card holders and clients,” Jim McCarthy, evp-innovation and strategic partnerships for Visa. “Whether you’re competing in the Olympic Games or a passionate spectator on the sidelines, Visa will help you experience the latest ways to pay.”
“The Rio 2016 Olympic Games will feature the latest technology and payment innovations that will enhance the Olympic experience for athletes, fans, card holders and clients."
According to Thomas Bach, IOC president, “The IOC has been proud to call Visa a worldwide partner of the Olympic Games for the past 30 years, and their support has helped ensure the continued success of the Olympic Games. The athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement and through the Team Visa program, Visa has supported young athletes from around the world in achieving their dreams. We look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.”
Visa said that it selects its athletes based on criteria including the athlete’s personal journey to the Olympic and Paralympics Games, athletic achievements, and community involvement.
“I’m excited to join Team Visa and the more than 30 other world-class athletes as we prepare for Rio 2016,” said Lloyd, who was in attendance along with some 20 other members of Team Visa. “For me, the support I receive from my fiancé, friends, coaches, teammates and sponsors, like Visa, is critical to my success and I’m so thankful that it has allowed me to pursue my goals.”
TEAM VISA RIO
• Jennifer Abel, Canada, Diving
• Valerie Adams, New Zealand, Athletics – Shot Put
• Rebeca Andrade, Brazil, Gymnastics
• Leandro Aparecido da Silva, Brazil, Equestrian – Dressage
• Alison Cerutti, Brazil, Beach Volleyball
• Ryan Cochrane, Canada, Swimming
• Daniel Dias, Brazil, Paralympic Swimming
• Ashton Eaton, USA, Athletics – Decathlon
• Maria Espinoza, Mexico, Taekwondo
• Ivan Garcia, Mexico, Diving
• English Gardner, USA, Athletics
• Terezinha Guilhermina, Brazil, Paralympic Athletics
• Benoit Huot, Canada, Paralympic Swimming
• Kim Jae-Bum, Korea, Judo
• Mark de Jonge, Canada, Sprint Canoe
• Gwen Jorgensen, USA, Triathlon
• Yana Kudryavtseva, Russia, Rhythmic Gymnastics
• Carli Lloyd, USA, Soccer
• Chen Long, China, Badminton
• Alana Nichols, USA, Parakayak
• Maria Pajon, Colombia, Cycling – BMX
• Sally Pearson, Australia, Athletics – Hurdles
• Zhang Peimeng, China, Athletics – 100 m & 200 m
• Emanuel Rego, Brazil, Beach Volleyball
• Bruno Rezende, Brazil, Volleyball
• Svetlana Romashina, Russia, Synchronized Swimming
• Daiya Seto, Japan, Swimming
• Tiago Splitter, Brazil, Basketball
• Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Canada, Athletics – Heptathlon
• Olesya Vladykina, Russia, Paralympic Swimming, Russia
• Kerri Walsh-Jennings, USA, Beach Volleyball
• Pamela Ware, Canada, Diving
• Kanako Watanabe, Japan, Swimming
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