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McDonald's™ to Host Live Online Chat with Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis On September 15

Sep 14, 2000

Millions of Americans are expected to watch the television broadcast of the 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on Friday, September 15. McDonald's is offering a great way for consumers to interact with an Olympian during the commercial breaks of the Opening Ceremony by hosting a live web chat with Carl Lewis, referred to on the United States Olympic Committee website as the "Greatest Olympian Ever," on September 15 from 8:00 -- 9:00 p.m. EDT on .

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During the web chat, fans can ask Lewis, who has a total of nine Olympic gold medals, about the experience of competing in the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and becoming one of the leading Gold Medal winners in U.S. history. The on-line chat is the second in a series of athlete web chats. The first featured Grant Hill and a third athlete chat is scheduled with Amy Van Dyken, four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, on September 23 from 8:00 -- 9:00 p.m. EDT.

"I am thrilled McDonald's is providing myself and other Olympians the opportunity to share incredible Olympic memories with people from around the world through these on-line chats," said Lewis. "I am also excited to talk with kids about what it takes to be an Olympian and what it has meant to my life. I hope to inspire them."

"Through McDonald's informative Olympic website, we have created a place that brings the fun and excitement of the Games to people from around the world," said Dean Barrett, vice president, McDonald's Global Marketing. "With athlete chats, like this one with Carl Lewis, our consumers and our own employees will have the opportunity to connect with Olympians and experience the thrill of this premier sporting event first-hand."

When visitors log onto and click on the Olympics icon, they will find Olympic news from around the world, interactive games featuring Olympic mascots and McDonaldland characters, and links to other major Olympic- related websites. In addition, they can learn which menu items are most popular among athletes being fed by McDonald's in the Olympic Village and other interesting food facts. Additional sections of the website include:

  -- McDonald's "Down Under" -- a preview of activities in Australia, the
     Olympic Village, McDonald's Olympic menu and other on-site events.

  -- Around the Olympic McWorld -- an overview of what's McDonald's is doing
     to support the Olympic Games in communities around the globe.

  -- International Crew & McDonald's Olympic Achievers "Digital Diaries" --
     journal entries from young people from around the world, who have been
     selected by McDonald's to travel to Sydney and will share through their
     "diaries" details what it is like to attend the Sydney 2000 Olympic
     Games and related festivities.

  -- A section from Ronald McDonald for Kids -- a popular children's site
     including McDonald's Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Big Book of Fun, which
     is full of interactive activities, including pictures to color and

  -- McDonald's Olympic promotions and advertising -- including streaming
     video of McDonald's Olympic commercials from countries around the

  -- An overview of McDonald's Olympic sponsorship...past, present and

  -- Links to websites from other major Olympic related websites including
     sites for the International Olympic Committee, Sydney Organizing
     Committee for the Olympic Games, United States Olympic Committee, and
     McDonald's Australia.

McDonald's is the world's largest global foodservice retailer with more than 27,000 restaurants, serving nearly 43 million people each day in 119 countries. More than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.

SOURCE: McDonald's

Contact: Julie Monzo of McDonald's, 630-623-6049; or Cindy Pettersen for
McDonald's, 312-596-3494