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Johnson & Johnson and NBC Olympics Partner to Share the Stories of U.S. Olympic Hopefuls and Their Journeys to Beijing With The Family Room

Weekly Webisodes Produced by NBC Available on Program Showcases Eight U.S. Hopefuls Including the Hamm Brothers, Chellsie Memmel and Lauryn Williams; Viewers Introduced to Families Behind Athletes'

Olympic Dreams

NEW YORK, March 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Johnson & Johnson, NBC Olympics and iVillage today launched The Family Room presented by Johnson & Johnson, a multimedia experience which over the next five months will follow the journey of eight athletes and their families as they prepare to qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, which begin August 8. The centerpiece of The Family Room site is a series of weekly webisodes offering viewers a compelling glimpse into the lives of Olympic hopefuls through both their own personal perspectives and those of the families surrounding and supporting them. The Family Room can be viewed at

(Logo: )

The Family Room focuses on Tina Ellertson (Soccer); twin brothers Paul & Morgan Hamm (Gymnastics); Reese Hoffa (Track & Field); Chellsie Memmel (Gymnastics); siblings Steve & Katie Mocco (Wrestling & Judo); and Lauryn Williams (Track & Field).

The premier webisode on March 2 introduces viewers to the unique family dynamics of the athletes featured in The Family Room while subsequent segments appearing every Sunday will feature a specific U.S. Olympic hopeful until the Olympic Games in Beijing. The five-to-seven-minute documentary-style shorts will include footage and interviews captured by NBC Olympics as well as compelling footage from the athletes and their families via handheld cameras.

In addition to the webisodes, The Family Room will feature a wealth of digital content through which the athletes, their families, and communities at home connect online:
-- Profile pages on the iVillage Connect social networking platform that

will feature blogs and personal photos from each athlete

-- The Raising Future Champions community forum, where users can share

their personal stories about memorable sports moments in their

children's lives.

-- A Share Your Shout Out graffiti wall, where visitors can express their

U.S. team pride and support by typing in words of encouragement.

The Family Room will also feature information about products from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and numerous links to's complimentary coverage of the eight highlighted athletes, including how the athletes are faring in pre-Olympic competitions, news about their international rivals, previews of their events in Beijing, expert blogs, and robust photo and video galleries.

Throughout the duration of the program, viewers can expect to see vignettes and promos for The Family Room across numerous NBC Universal platforms, including Early Today, Today, MSNBC, USA Network, iVillage and various NBC affiliates across the country.
Viewers will follow these compelling storylines in The Family Room:

-- Tina Ellertson (Soccer) -- When an unplanned pregnancy at age 18

threatened her collegiate soccer career, Tina postponed school and gave

birth to daughter MacKenzie. Now, at age 26, she's a defender on the

U.S. Soccer Team, is married to MacKenzie's dad and is currently

expecting their second child. Now Tina attempts to ready herself

physically and emotionally for the chance to finally have her Olympic

moment just months after giving birth.

-- Paul & Morgan Hamm (Gymnastics) -- Paul is arguably the best male

gymnast the United States has ever produced, having been crowned the

2004 all-around Olympic champion. His twin brother Morgan has found

success as a role player on both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Teams.

After a lengthy hiatus from the sport, both brothers now aim to make

their third Olympic team.

-- Reese Hoffa (Track & Field) -- As a four-year-old, Reese was sent to

live at an orphanage by his troubled teenage mother after he

accidentally burned down his family's home. In 2000, after being raised

by a nurturing adoptive family, he reunited with his birth mother

through an online search. Now, Reese, the current world champion in the

shot put, is proud of his strong relationships with both his "A-Mom"

(adoptive mother) and "B-Mom" (birth mother) and looks to his non-

traditional family for the support to fulfill his Olympic dream.

-- Chellsie Memmel (Gymnastics) -- After serving as an alternate on the

2004 Athens team, Chellsie returned to the gymnastics coach that she

left at age seven -- her father, Andy. The father-daughter partnership

seemed to be a perfect fit as she went on to the win the 2005 all-round

world championship, but suffered a setback as Chellsie underwent

shoulder surgery. The ultimate test now is whether or not she can hold

up among a world of teenage challengers in her last chance to make the


-- Steve & Katie Mocco (Wrestling and Judo) -- When the Mocco's father

enrolled young Steve in judo to supplement his wrestling, little sister

Katie always tagged along. Soon after, Katie's own passion for judo

became clear. Now both Moccos continue to support one another as they

train in different parts of the country with the same goal of reaching


-- Lauryn Williams (Track & Field) -- When Lauryn won a silver medal in

the 100 meters in Athens, she was thankful that her father was both

physically and financially able to make the trip. After years of

battling leukemia and kidney failure, her father David, who had driven

her from track to track as a child, was healthy enough to travel to

Greece and was able to watch her run on the world stage because of the

generosity of an anonymous donor-turned-friend that made his trip to

Athens possible. Lauryn now focuses on the goal of winning Olympic gold

while continuing to deal with her father's illness.

"As a partner of the Olympic Movement, Johnson & Johnson is proud to deliver a unique perspective on the excitement and emotion that make up an athlete's journey to the Olympic Games," said Owen Rankin, Vice President, Corporate Equity and Olympic Sponsorship, Johnson & Johnson. "We understand that behind every Olympian who competes in Beijing there is a caring family that helped get him or her there. We're proud to celebrate that through The Family Room."

"At the Olympics, we are storytellers, first and foremost. Our top priority is to introduce our viewers to the compelling stories of Olympic athletes and their path to the Games," said David Neal, Executive Producer, NBC Sports. "We're delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the journeys of this terrific group of athletes as they prepare for Beijing, and to highlight the family dynamic that makes each of their stories unique. The Family Room project will create a strong connection for our viewers with these athletes leading up to the Beijing Olympics."

The Family Room will be supported by brands from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies: BAND-AID(R) Brand Adhesive Bandages, NEOSPORIN(R), LISTERINE(R), NEUTROGENA(R), TYLENOL(R) and ZYRTEC(R).

About Johnson & Johnson:

Johnson & Johnson is the world's most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical devices and diagnostics markets. The more than 250 Johnson & Johnson operating companies employ approximately 119,000 men and women in 57 countries and sell products throughout the world. Johnson & Johnson is an Official Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a Worldwide Partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and a Proud Partner of the United States Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Team. The ZYRTEC(R) trademark is used under license from UCB Pharma S.A.

About NBC Olympics:

NBC, "America's Olympic Network," owns the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games, television's most powerful property, through 2012, which includes Beijing in 2008, Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012. The 2008 Olympic Games from Beijing, China will represent the 11th Olympics broadcast by NBC, a record for the most Olympic broadcasts by any network. From August 8-24, 2008 NBC Universal will present an unprecedented 3,600 hours of coverage, highlighted by NBC 's live primetime coverage of swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball and more than 2,200 hours of live streaming video for the first time on In August 2004, 203 million viewers watched as the networks of NBC Universal-NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, and NBC's HD affiliates-offered a then record 1,210 hours of Olympic coverage from Athens.

For additional information, go to, a year-round destination for fans of Olympic sports, featuring news, Beijing previews, athlete features, expert blogs, photos, Olympic video from the NBC archives and social tools enabling users to build communities around their favorite sports, post comments and blogs.

About iVillage:

iVillage Inc., a division of NBC Universal , is the first and largest media company dedicated exclusively to connecting women at every stage of their lives. Ranked the #1 online destination for women with 30.5 million unique visitors (comScore MediaMetrix, January 2008), offers an authentic community infused with compelling content from experts on health, parenting, pregnancy, beauty, style, fitness, relationships, food and entertainment. The site's interactive features include thousands of message boards and a wide variety of social networking tools, allowing women around the world to connect, share ideas, and seek advice and support about everything from fertility to fashion.

Established in 1995, iVillage's brand extensions include iVillage UK, iVillage Total Health and owned sites, GardenWeb and, in addition to the Newborn Channel. The company, acquired by NBC Universal in May 2006, is based in New York.

SOURCE Johnson & Johnson
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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