Olympic Visitors

The ferries transporting people across Lake Geneva between Evian-Les-Bains, France, and Lausanne, Switzerland, were packed with players and executives from the LPGA and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) this week. The close proximity of the headquarters of the IOC and its stunning Olympic Museum to the site of the Evian Masters Presented by Societe Generale always has created shared entertainment opportunities. But with the IOC selecting golf last year to join the Olympic movement starting in 2016 when the Summer Games will be held in Rio, the activity increased during this year's edition of the Evian Masters.

Several players visited the Olympic Museum, including Laura Diaz of the U.S., who toured it for the first time with her husband/caddy Kevin. Diaz, a four-time Solheim Cup participant, has two career LPGA Tour victories and was Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour (LET) in 1998. She particularly enjoyed the interactive temporary exhibit that challenged visitors with athletic tests. The ever-competitive Diaz attempted both jumping and eye-hand coordination tests after soaking in the history of the Olympic movement. "Golf and the Olympics simply belong together," said Diaz, who said the same thing about Switzerland and chocolate, purchasing some classic Swiss treats for the ferry ride back to Evian.

Personal tours of the Evian Masters site were provided to IOC executives including Timo Lumme, Managing Director, IOC Television and Marketing Services SA, James Tolputt, IOC Games Strategic Development Manager and Pierre Fratter-Bardy, Project Manager, Director General's Office, who had the opportunity to also meet LPGA players Juli Inkster and Vicky Hurst. The tours were held all week long.

The LPGA has conducted the HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup in Rio the past two years, won this year in a six-hole sudden death playoff by American Meaghan Francella over Colombian rookie Mariajo Uribe. The bubbly Uribe along with Russia's Maria Verchenova and India's Smriti Mehra were featured this week in an article in Golf World on the globalization of golf that the Olympics will help fuel for the sport: http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/2010-07/golf-evian-0723

Topics: Diaz, Laura, The Evian Championship

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