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WASHINGTON, June 13 (RIA Novosti) – The US soft-drink giant Coca-Cola has tapped four champion American athletes to represent the company at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Black Sea resort town of Sochi, including Olympic champion figure skater Michelle Kwan, the company announced this week.
Kwan, together with skier Ted Ligety, men’s figure skater Evan Lysacek and paralympian snowboarder Amy Purdy, will take a lead role in Coca-Cola’s marketing efforts in the run-up to the Sochi games next February and will represent its brand for the event, the company said in a statement.
Ligety, 28, is an Olympic gold medal winner and four-time world champion in alpine skiing. He is currently training to make the US Olympic team for Sochi. Lysacek, a 28-year-old who captured gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Sochi, is also aiming for a slot on the US team for the games.
Purdy, 33, had her legs amputated below the legs at age 19 due to bacterial meningitis. She has already secured a spot on the US team in para-snowboarding, which will debut as an official Olympic event in Sochi, USA Today reported.
With two Olympic gold medals, five world championship titles and nine US championship titles under her belt, Kwan, 32, is the most decorated US figure skater in history.
All four athletes will serve as “living ambassadors” for Coca-Cola in Sochi, the company said.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).