Prestige Swiss watch brand Omega today added another celebrated name to its already impressive family of swimming ambassadors: Olympic star Michael Phelps. Supermodel Cindy Crawford, the original Omega ambassador and perhaps one of the best known faces in the world, welcomed Phelps into the Omega family at a special press event following the US Olympic time trials for swimming in Long Beach. The young swimming phenom joins Alexander Popov from Russia and Ian Thorpe from Australia, who already promote quality watches by the 156 year-old <br/>company.
In addition to its association with the finest in Swiss watchmaking, Omega has also enjoyed an unparalleled reputation in the field of sports timing, notably having acted as Official Timekeeper at 21 Olympic Games over the past century. The Olympic association started with the 1932 Los Angeles Games, where the brand was the first company ever to be appointed Official Timekeeper of all Olympic disciplines. Ever since, Omega has continued to make its mark in the field of sports timing through its dedication and innovation (see separate text).
Speaking at the press conference, OMEGA’s US Brand Manager, Robert Emmons, explained the reason behind the Swiss brand’s strong involvement in the sport of swimming: “Through our role as Official Timekeeper of 21 Olympic Games, we have also forged a strong bond with the sport of swimming, for which the company has over the years developed some of the ground-breaking technology that revolutionized the sport. Omega maintains very strong links with the sport today both through its role as Official Timekeeper of the FINA World Swimming Championships through 2005 and its support for two of the world’s top swimmers: Alexander Popov and Ian Thorpe. It’s a great honor for us to have Michael Phelps join our family of ambassadors.”
At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Michael Phelps became the youngest male to compete since 1932 – the year Omega was first appointed official timekeeper of the Games. He also became the youngest man ever to break a world record (the 200m fly at the 2001 Spring Nationals, at 15-years-old) and the first swimmer to set a staggering 5 world records at one meet: the 2003 FINA World Championships, where he won 4 gold medals and two silver medals. He currently holds the world record in the 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley.
The swimmer was welcomed today into the family of Omega ambassadors by Cindy Crawford – the brand’s original ambassador and most famous international face. Presenting the young swimmer with a model from the Seamaster watch collection, famous for its robustness and water resistance, Cindy recalled her own début as an ambassador for the brand: “Time really has flown by since I joined the brand in 1997. Since then I have been all over the world with Omega and had some fantastic experiences. There really is a great family feeling between the ambassadors and Omega and it’s a pleasure for me to welcome Michael into the fold.”
Phelps himself concluded the conference with his impressions of the brand and a look forward towards the Athens 2004 Olympic Games this summer: “It’s great to have the support of a brand that has been instrumental in so much of the history of modern-day swimming competitions and timed so many world records, including my own. I only hope that I can repay their confidence in me with a strong performance in Athens together with my new “colleagues” Ian and Alex.”
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