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January 16, 2006 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics and Olympic Torchbearers from Far East will be in Venice on the route of Marco Polo

January 16th, 2006 (Venice, Italy) : On January 17th, the 39th day of its historic journey, the Olympic Flame arrives in Venice. Presenting Partner Samsung will give to a group of citizens from Asiatic countries and Italian consumers with inspiring stories the chance to participate in the Torino 2006 Olympic Torch Relay by carrying the Flame. Among celebrity torchbearers are  Chinese Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Lu Chen, Olympic athletes from Thailand and Indonesia, and two popular Italian comedians Fabio Canino and Fabrizio Fontana.

The Relay, which lasts 64 days, began in Rome on December 8th, 2005 and culminates on February 10th, 2006 in Torino at the Opening Ceremony of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Ten thousand and one torchbearers will carry the Flame 11,300 kilometers through the scenic towns and historic sites in every region of Italy.

The Olympic Torch Relay presents a unique opportunity for fans to witness the most prestigious sporting symbol, the Olympic Flame, up close and in person. For Torino 2006, Samsung is providing more than 1,900 people from around the world a once-in-a-lifetime experience to run with the Flame. The company selected world-class athletes, celebrities and inspiring individuals, who embody the Olympic spirit, from thousands of sport fans who applied to various selection promotions from all over the world.

Venice is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world. It is built on water, made up of several small islands and hundreds of bridges and canals. From this city Marco Polo left to explore the Far East and to see the marvelous cultures of the past in Asia. To celebrate the link between Venice and the Far East, Samsung invited a group of people from China, Thailand and Indonesia to carry the Torch along the Venetian “call”. Among the Chinese torchbearers are Olympic figure skating bronze medalist dancer Lu Chen, who was listed by the US magazine “People” among the Top 50 most beautiful women in the world. She was the first ever Chinese athlete to win an Olympic medal for figure skating. Media wrote that Lu Chen was like a “Butterfly on the ice” because of her unforgettable “Butterfly Lovers” performance. Other Chinese athletes include first Chinese Olympic medalist in speed skating in ’90, Qiao’bo Ye. From Thailand, Yaovapa Boorapolchai, bronze medalist in taekwondo at Athens 2004, while from Indonesia Ricky Achmad Soebagdja, ex Indonesian badminton doubles player and winner of the gold medal at Atlanta 1996.

Among Samsung Italian torchbearers in Venice are two famous comedians: Fabio Canino and Fabrizio Fontana. Canino is a TV presenter of the popular show “Cronache Marziane”. Fontana has several years experience in cabaret and he is a member of the well-known comedian group “Zelig” in Milano.

Alberto Tomba, Samsung’s Global Athlete Ambassador, said “I want to congratulate all of the torchbearers and spectators on being part of a historic moment for our beautiful country.” He added, “Thanks to the people of Venice for preparing a wonderful event. I believe that carrying the torch through the call and canals of this extraordinary historical city is an experience the torchbearers will never forget”.

In Venice, Samsung will help generate enthusiasm for the Torch Relay by participating in a city celebration organized by the Torino 2006 Organizing Committee (TOROC). There will be high-tech caravans, interactive activities at the Samsung igloo and opportunities for the public to experience the official Olympic Games phones for Torino 2006. Additional stops are planned in historic towns like Trento, Trieste and Milan. After traveling through the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, on January 26th the Torch will arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo where there will be a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of 1956 Olympic Winter Games.

Jong Yong Yun, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, said, “Samsung is proud to be in Venice to share the excitement of the Torino 2006 Olympic Torch Relay with our terrific torchbearers and fans.” He added, “We are overwhelmed by the passion and support that the Italian people have shown for hosting the Relay and the Olympic Winter Games, and Samsung is committed to make these events the smoothest and most successful ever.”

Other notable Samsung torchbearers include: the Austrian “Ski Emperor” and Olympic gold medalist Franz Klammer and fashion designer Lavinia Biagiotti, who ran in Rome, former Formula 1 driver Alessandro Nannini, who ran in his hometown of Siena, and legendary Italian basket player Dino Meneghin, who will run in Milan on January 29th.

For the first time, Samsung is also providing Torch Relay organizers with thousands of official Olympic Games phones, which features the state-of-the-art mobile information service, Wireless Olympic Works (WOW), which supplies up-to-the-minute information and group messaging capabilities to help manage the Relay. The route information, information about torchbearers, highlight videos and photos of the Torino 2006 Olympic Torch Relay will be served through WOW service. For Torino 2006, the official Olympic Games phone is the SGH-D600, Samsung’s latest flagship handset. The SGH-D600 is an upgraded version of the hugely popular D500 series, the winner of several prestigious awards including the Best Mobile Handset 2005 for excellence in handset design and innovation by the GSMA, the global trade association for the world's Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operator community.

About Samsung and the Olympic Games

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. employs approximately 113,600 people in
over 90 offices across 48 countries. The company is the world's third
largest producer of mobile phones. Since 1997, Samsung has been the Olympic
Partner in the wireless communications equipment category and continues
its contribution to the Olympic Movement as a Worldwide Olympic Partner
and Presenting Partner for the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games and Torch
Relay. In Torino, Samsung will provide Olympic staff, volunteers, athletes
and media with 8,000 official Olympic Games phones, featuring the state
of the art mobile information service, Wireless Olympic Works (WOW), designed
to help organize the largest and most complex sporting event in the world.
Also in Torino, Samsung will host the Olympic Rendezvous @ Samsung (OR@S),
a relaxing and fun destination for spectators, athletes and their families.
The popular meeting place features a series of daily events and activities,
as well as a showcase for Samsung's latest wireless products. For more
information, please visit the web site, http://www.samsung.com/torino2006.

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