Bobsledder Vonetta Flowers Gets Unexpected Cheering Section

Family of Defending Gold Medalist Makes Surprise Visit to Torino



Feb 20, 2006, 00:00 ET from Kimberly-Clark

    TORINO, Italy, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. bobsledder Vonetta Flowers
 experienced one of her most emotional Kleenex Moments(TM) of the 2006 Olympic
 Winter Games the day before her competition began when mother, Bobbie Jeffrey,
 and twin sons, Jordan and Jaden, surprised her during an interview with NBC
 Today Show host Katie Couric in Torino.  The family originally had been unable
 to travel to Torino for Vonetta's competition.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060220/CGM023 )
     "I'm going to sleep so well tonight," said Flowers.  "The emotion of today
 was so exhausting, I feel like I won the gold medal again.  I can't believe my
 mom has known since January that Kleenex was going to do this."
     Kleenex(R) Facial Tissue, which is no stranger to emotional moments, made
 the decision to fly the family to Torino after recognizing how meaningful this
 would be for Flowers, and her mother, as she competes for her second Olympic
 gold medal.
     "When you meet someone like Vonetta, you can't help but be moved by her
 story and her incredible spirit," said Steve Erb, associate marketing director
 for the Kleenex(R) brand.  "We couldn't think of a better way to show our
 support than to bring family to Italy to cheer her on in person during this
 emotional time."
     Flowers' close relationship with her family garnered attention last
 December when one of her sons underwent surgery in Verona, Italy, to help him
 hear for the first time.  Following his recovery, Flowers left her family to
 travel back to Europe for training in early February.  Prior to today's
 surprise visit, she had not seen her mother or boys for some time.
     Viewers recall Flowers' performance from the 2002 Salt Lake City Games,
 where she became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal
 in a winter sport, after which she immediately ran to the side lines to hug
 her mother.  As one of Flowers' biggest fans, Jeffery was originally unable to
 make the long international flight for Flower's Torino competition.
     "I knew that I couldn't speak the language and I really don't like flying
 especially over all that water, so I decided it was best for me to stay home
 and watch it on TV," says Jeffery.  "I never thought I would have a chance to
 visit Italy and here I am at age 55, and I'm able to watch my daughter
 compete.  It's a long way from Birmingham and a long way from any of my
 childhood dreams.  This is unbelievable!"
     Jeffery and the twins will be on the sidelines once again waiting for a
 hug as Flowers competes today and tomorrow in the two-man bobsled competition
 with driver Jean Prahm.  Husband, and coach, Johnny Flowers is very excited to
 share this moment with Vonetta.
     "The Olympics are not only about the medals -- it's also about sharing a
 very special experience with the people you love," said Johnny Flowers, who
 was in on the surprise with the Kleenex(R) brand.  "I knew there was nothing
 she'd love more than to look into the stands to see all of us cheering her
 on."
     For more information about Flowers' relationship with her mother, log onto
 http://www.nbcolymics.com/moms .  For more information about Kleenex(R) facial
 tissue programs and products, log onto http://www.kleenex.com .  The
 Kleenex(R) brand is the exclusive facial tissue supplier to the 2006 U.S.
 Olympic Team.  It also supported the team during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games
 in Salt Lake City, and the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
 
     About Kleenex Facial Tissue
     The world's first and America's best-selling facial tissue, the Kleenex
 brand is recognized by families in more than 150 countries.  Invented in 1924,
 Kleenex tissues were initially marketed as a sanitary way to remove cold cream
 and makeup.  Once advertising was shifted to emphasize the product's use as a
 disposable handkerchief, however, sales soared.  Always the innovative leader,
 Kleenex brand facial tissue has met the needs of consumers for more than 80
 years with products that provide the comforting, reassuring touch to make
 things better.
 
     About Kimberly-Clark
     Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part
 of life for people in more than 150 countries.  Every day, 1.3 billion people
 -- nearly a quarter of the world's population -- trust K-C brands and the
 solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being.  With
 brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-
 Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries.  To
 keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 134-
 year history of innovation, visit http://www.kimberly-clark.com .
 
 

SOURCE Kimberly-Clark
    TORINO, Italy, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. bobsledder Vonetta Flowers
 experienced one of her most emotional Kleenex Moments(TM) of the 2006 Olympic
 Winter Games the day before her competition began when mother, Bobbie Jeffrey,
 and twin sons, Jordan and Jaden, surprised her during an interview with NBC
 Today Show host Katie Couric in Torino.  The family originally had been unable
 to travel to Torino for Vonetta's competition.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060220/CGM023 )
     "I'm going to sleep so well tonight," said Flowers.  "The emotion of today
 was so exhausting, I feel like I won the gold medal again.  I can't believe my
 mom has known since January that Kleenex was going to do this."
     Kleenex(R) Facial Tissue, which is no stranger to emotional moments, made
 the decision to fly the family to Torino after recognizing how meaningful this
 would be for Flowers, and her mother, as she competes for her second Olympic
 gold medal.
     "When you meet someone like Vonetta, you can't help but be moved by her
 story and her incredible spirit," said Steve Erb, associate marketing director
 for the Kleenex(R) brand.  "We couldn't think of a better way to show our
 support than to bring family to Italy to cheer her on in person during this
 emotional time."
     Flowers' close relationship with her family garnered attention last
 December when one of her sons underwent surgery in Verona, Italy, to help him
 hear for the first time.  Following his recovery, Flowers left her family to
 travel back to Europe for training in early February.  Prior to today's
 surprise visit, she had not seen her mother or boys for some time.
     Viewers recall Flowers' performance from the 2002 Salt Lake City Games,
 where she became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal
 in a winter sport, after which she immediately ran to the side lines to hug
 her mother.  As one of Flowers' biggest fans, Jeffery was originally unable to
 make the long international flight for Flower's Torino competition.
     "I knew that I couldn't speak the language and I really don't like flying
 especially over all that water, so I decided it was best for me to stay home
 and watch it on TV," says Jeffery.  "I never thought I would have a chance to
 visit Italy and here I am at age 55, and I'm able to watch my daughter
 compete.  It's a long way from Birmingham and a long way from any of my
 childhood dreams.  This is unbelievable!"
     Jeffery and the twins will be on the sidelines once again waiting for a
 hug as Flowers competes today and tomorrow in the two-man bobsled competition
 with driver Jean Prahm.  Husband, and coach, Johnny Flowers is very excited to
 share this moment with Vonetta.
     "The Olympics are not only about the medals -- it's also about sharing a
 very special experience with the people you love," said Johnny Flowers, who
 was in on the surprise with the Kleenex(R) brand.  "I knew there was nothing
 she'd love more than to look into the stands to see all of us cheering her
 on."
     For more information about Flowers' relationship with her mother, log onto
 http://www.nbcolymics.com/moms .  For more information about Kleenex(R) facial
 tissue programs and products, log onto http://www.kleenex.com .  The
 Kleenex(R) brand is the exclusive facial tissue supplier to the 2006 U.S.
 Olympic Team.  It also supported the team during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games
 in Salt Lake City, and the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
 
     About Kleenex Facial Tissue
     The world's first and America's best-selling facial tissue, the Kleenex
 brand is recognized by families in more than 150 countries.  Invented in 1924,
 Kleenex tissues were initially marketed as a sanitary way to remove cold cream
 and makeup.  Once advertising was shifted to emphasize the product's use as a
 disposable handkerchief, however, sales soared.  Always the innovative leader,
 Kleenex brand facial tissue has met the needs of consumers for more than 80
 years with products that provide the comforting, reassuring touch to make
 things better.
 
     About Kimberly-Clark
     Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part
 of life for people in more than 150 countries.  Every day, 1.3 billion people
 -- nearly a quarter of the world's population -- trust K-C brands and the
 solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being.  With
 brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-
 Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries.  To
 keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 134-
 year history of innovation, visit http://www.kimberly-clark.com .
 
 SOURCE  Kimberly-Clark