January 5 - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have announced the Topps Company as the exclusive Team USA trading card producer for the London 2012 Games in a deal that will see the firm producing cards featuring America's top stars such as 14-time Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps.
Topps will release its first Team USA trading cards this spring with the most sought-after cards set to include athletics stars such as Tyson Gay (pictured) and Allyson Felix, basketball players like LeBron James and Paralympic wheelchair racers like Tatyana McFadden.
The Team USA collection is highlighted by the inclusion of 100 London 2012 gold-medal hopeful cards – 40 of which feature authentic athlete-autographed special versions.
"It is an honour for the company to commemorate the pinnacle of sports and this country's best athletes," said Doug Kruep, Topps general manager of sports and entertainment.
"We look forward to offering supporters of Team USA athletes a truly unique keepsake and collectible."
The release will also celebrate past Team USA medallists, such as athletics legend Carl Lewis, as well as the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and their diverse sports and venues.
The release will include randomly inserted cards embedded with Olympic pins, patches and replica medals.
A portion of each purchase will go directly to supporting the London 2012 US Olympic and Paralympic teams.
"We are excited to partner with Topps' to highlight Team USA athletes ahead of the London 2012 Games," said Peter Zeytoonjian, USOC's managing director of consumer products.
"Trading cards are a great way to support and learn more about the amazing athletes who will represent Team USA in London next summer and, when the Games end, a great way to remember the athletes and moments that defined the competition."
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