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21 February 2006

Swimmer Michael Phelps, winner of eight medals at Athens 2004 Olympic Games, meets public in Turin

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Turin, Italy, February 21st, 2006. World record holder and winner of six gold and two bronze medals at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, swimmer Michael Phelps made a brief public appearance today, signing autographs and posing for photographs with fans and visitors to the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. The young American swimmer, in town as a guest of Official Timekeeper OMEGA, was met at the OMEGA Pavilion in downtown Turin by OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart, who gave Mr. Phelps a guided tour of the Omega exhibition about the Olympic Games. The exhibition features historic OMEGA chronograph stop-watches, photo-finish cameras and other sports timekeeping equipment, along with photographs highlighting exceptional performance by athletes at the Olympic Games. Michael Phelps and Stephen Urquhart climbed into the OMEGA bobsleigh set up in the center of Turin’s famed Galleria San Federico, which has become a popular attraction in the host city during the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

Though still very young, Michael Phelps has already made a habit of setting records, making a name for himself as a world-class athlete in the process. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, he became, at the age of 15, the youngest male to compete in the Olympic Games since 1932, and placed fifth in the 200 meter butterfly. The following year he set a world record in the same event. Two years later, in July of 2003, he broke an astonishing five individual world records at the FINA World Championships – the first swimmer ever to accomplish this feat at a single international meet. At the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps won six gold and two bronze medals, making him the most highly decorated Olympian at a single Olympic Games - ever. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Michael Phelps has been an OMEGA Ambassador since 2004, joining Alexander Popov and Ian Thorpe in the ranks of world-class swimmers representing the OMEGA brand.  Following his visit to the Omega exhibition about the Olympic Games and the OMEGA bobsleigh, Michael Phelps met with special guests of the Official Timekeeper in the OMEGA Lounge and visited the OMEGA boutique, located in the Galleria San Federico in the heart of historic Turin.

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