Rep. Bart and Laurie Stupak with USOEC Olympians
MARQUETTE—The United States Olympic Education Center will host Chinese athletes for a week-long training camp followed by an Oct. 23 competition in the Berry Events Center at Northern Michigan University. USOEC team members will compete against Chinese athletes in boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, weightlifting and women’s freestyle wrestling.
“This is the first time Chinese athletes from four sports will compete in the same facility at the same time in the United States,” said Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee). “This level of competition is something you usually find at the Olympic and Pan-American Games. It will give spectators a preview of the 2008 Olympics as many of the competitors are national or world medalists who are in contention for positions on the Olympic Team.”
Stupak is a strong supporter of the USOEC and an advocate for the B.J. Stupak Olympic Scholarship athletes use to offset educational expenses at the nation’s four Olympic Training Centers. He said the international competition will benefit the center, NMU and the community.
"This competition will only further strengthen NMU's reputation as a center of athletic and academic excellence," Stupak added.
NMU president Les Wong said the event will further the university’s emphasis on internationalization.
“We are honored and thrilled that Olympic hopefuls from China will be on Northern’s campus,” Wong added. “This is exactly the kind of experience our students need. We’re hoping the athletes and coaches will have time to visit classrooms and meet with faculty, staff and students. We are grateful to the Chinese Olympic Committee and the athletes for planning a visit to Marquette and the U.P.”
Outside of NMU, the competition and related activities will provide area businesses and community members the chance to take advantage of cultural and economic opportunities that make Marquette one of Michigan’s “Cool Cities.”
“The USOEC continues to put Marquette on the map; it gives us that ‘cool’ factor,” said Carol Fulsher of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. “The community can continue supporting the USOEC and its mission—we need to continue to learn about other countries and to support the athletes coming here.”
People interested in staying up to date on information regarding the event as the date approaches can go to www.nmu.edu/usoec.
Media Relations Coordinator