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Friday, December 15, 2006

Olympic athletes return from diplomatic mission on behalf of Darfur

WASHINGTON, D.C.Dec 15, 06:: American speed skater and Olympic gold medal winner, Joey Cheek, along with Kenyan world champion distance runner Tegla Loroupe arrived in the United States today following a human rights mission with actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle and the Save Darfur Coalition.

The Coalition’s Executive Director David Rubenstein and Ambassador (ret.) Lawrence Rossin traveled with the delegation of celebrities and athletes as they met with senior government officials in China and Egypt to discuss the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Clooney and the delegation of Darfur activists will visit the United Nations in New York later today to brief UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Clooney, met in September 2006 with U.N. Security Council and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel to urge them to act on Darfur. The American actor and activist visited Darfur in April.

On Friday, December 15, 2006, actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle, Academy Award nominee for the movie "Hotel Rwanda, and Olympic athletes Joey Cheek and Tegla Loroupe will meet with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Following their meeting, they will hold a press conference at the United Nations about their human rights mission to China and Egypt to discuss the genocide in Darfur. The Clooney-led delegation met with senior government officials of both countries and urged them to use their influence in Sudan to end the killing.

Joey Cheek is the world's First Heisman Humanitarian Award winner. Cheek the Olympic gold medal for America in speed skating.Tegla Loroupe, is the World Champion Kenyan distance runner and 2006 United Nations Ambassador of Sport. Amb. (ret.) Lawrence Rossin, is Senior International Coordinator for the Save Darfur Coalition and a 29 year U.S. Foreign Service official. David Rubenstein, Executive Director of the Save Darfur Coalition, recent witness of the effects of the Darfur genocide on Darfuri refugees in Chad.

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