Wheaties Debut Latest Olympic Hero Boxes
Sydney, Australia —
The competition has concluded, the medals have been awarded, and now Wheaties answers the call of American sports fans. At a press conference in Sydney, Wheaties unveiled a series of three special-edition packages honoring the newest American champions, commemorating the achievements of swimmer Brooke Bennett, pole vaulter Stacy Dragila, and diver Laura Wilkinson.
"This is a great moment for me and it's the fulfillment of every young athlete's dream," said Bennett, who earned gold medals in both the 400 and 800 freestyle events in Sydney. In doing so, she became the only American female swimmer to win two individual gold medals. "What a great feeling to win two gold medals and to have my picture on a Wheaties box," the Plant City, Fla., native said. Bennett has now collected three career gold medals and joined American swimmer Janet Evans as the only women to win consecutive 800 titles. She also is the first woman to sweep both the 400 and 800 since Evans accomplished the same feat in 1988.
Dragila, the current world record holder, won the inaugural pole vault gold medal by clearing 15 feet-1 inch. A former heptathlete, Dragila first took up the pole vault in 1993 and quickly became one of the world's best. One year later, she set an American record and has been rewriting history ever since. "Winning the gold is a dream come true, and now I have the chance to join the elite group of athletes who have been on the Wheaties box," said Dragila, who grew up in California but now calls Pocatello, Idaho, her home. "This is definitely a highlight for me."
Despite breaking bones in her right foot earlier in the year, 22-year-old Texan Laura Wilkinson nailed her final two dives in the 10-meter platform final to win the gold medal, the first for the United States since 1964. "Winning the gold medal and representing my country is an incredible honor," Wilkinson said. "And being on the Wheaties box really caps off my Sydney experience."
The soon-to-be-released 18-ounce packages will be available nationally later this month, and continue Wheaties' long and storied tradition of honoring great athletic champions dating back to Johnny Weismuller and Babe Didrickson in the 1930s.
"These athletes represent the championship ideals that have made Wheaties 'The Breakfast of Champions' for over 75 years," said Wheaties Marketing Manager Brian Immel. "Brooke, Stacy and Laura are great additions to the elite group of athletes who have graced the cover of the Wheaties box. They are a great fit with past Wheaties champions whose performances have captured the hearts and minds of America over the years."
Wheaties began its association with sports in the mid 1930s with a sign on the left field wall at old Nicollet Park in south Minneapolis. General Mills' broadcast deal with the minor league Minneapolis Millers included the large signboard that Wheaties would use to introduce its new advertising slogan: "Wheaties-The Breakfast of Champions."
From that rather humble beginning, Wheaties' has built a storied 75-year sports heritage that includes package and advertising appearances by many of the greatest athletes of all time.
News, photos provided by Newstream