U.S. Paralympic gold medalists Nick Taylor (left) and David Wagner will help Team USA celebrate "A Capitol Fourth" in Washington D.C.
© Tom Shaw
WASHINGTON D.C. -- This July 4th, America’s biggest Independence Day celebration kicks off our country’s 236th birthday with a special salute to our Olympians and Paralympians as they prepare for the London games.
Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno will host the tribute to Team USA, honoring present and past athletes of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, and featuring five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams conducting his "Olympic Fanfare and Theme." Acclaimed British tenor Russell Watson will perform "Because We Believe" (written and performed by Andre Bocelli for the closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympic games in Turin, Italy) in celebration of the Olympic spirit and to welcome the athletes to his native England.
With the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, more than a dozen competing Olympians and Paralympians will be cheered on by a crowd of hundreds of thousands, including:
- David Wagner and Nick Taylor - Wheelchair Tennis (doubles partners who won gold medals at the 2004 Summer Paralympics and the 2008 games);
- Khatuna Lorig - Archery (and most recently credited as Jennifer Lawrence’s teacher for the recurve bow for "The Hungr Games");
- Jennifer Gillom - Basketball (Olympic Gold medal winner and assistant coach to the US Women’s Team);
- Sarah Robles - Weightlifting (and top ranked U.S. women’s weightlifter in ALL weight classes and top U.S. finisher in men and women in 2011 World Championships);
- Daryl Homer - Fencing (ranked #1 in the U.S.);
- Rachel Dawson – Women’s Field Hockey (Captain of the U.S. team);
- Bobby Lea - Cycling (competing in his second Olympics);
- Marti Malloy - Judo (Gold winner in the USO Judo National Championships);
- Arielle Martin - BMX Cycling (and whose husband is currently serving in the Army);
- Amanda Clark - Sailing (competing in her second Olympics);
- Corey Cogdell – Shooting (Bronze medal winner); and
- Suzanne Stettinius – Modern Pentathlon (and whose father is a retired Navy Captain)
A Capitol Fourth is the country’s premier birthday party, celebrating our nation’s independence as well as the many things that make America great, which, this year, includes our Olympians. The multi award-winning event will be televised live in HD from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network Wednesday, July 4 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. A Capitol Fourth can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide.
The event is hosted by Emmy Award-winner Tom Bergeron (Dancing With The Stars), and also features: American Idol winner Phillip Phillips; two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the hit Broadway musical Nice Work If You Can Get It with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara; acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (Smash); television star and recording artist Amber Riley (Glee); singer-songwriter Javier Colon (winner of The Voice); country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.
For more information about A Capitol Fourth
, head to: pbs.org/capitolfourth
, along with their Facebook event page at: facebook.com/capitolfourth
. To help celebrate the event and support Team USA, particpate in the conversation on Twitter by using hashtag: #Cap4thPBS