A Capitol Fourth on PBS Goes for the Gold With a Special Olympic Tribute to Team USA Led By Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton

On July Fourth, there's no place like our nation's capital for America's biggest birthday party. The 28th annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth, hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits, will feature a special salute to our country's summer Olympians. Gold medal winner Scott Hamilton will lead the tribute to Team USA, honoring past and present Olympians on stage before a crowd of hundreds of thousands live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. A musical tribute from the National Symphony Orchestra with maestro Erich Kunzel will include John Williams' "Olympic Fanfare" and the inspirational song "This is the Moment" performed by Tony Award-winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell. Kunzel will also conduct the Cincinnati Pops at the Beijing Olympics this summer, the only American orchestra to perform in this year's Olympic Games. Olympians to be honored during the tribute include: Eli Bremer (Modern Pentathlon); Tim Morehouse (Fencing); Dominic Grazioli (Shooting), Jake Deitchler (Wrestling), Kendrick Farris (Weightlifting), Nancy Rios (Sailing), Bob Malaythong (Badminton) and Jessica Long (2006 Paralympian of the Year). The multi-award winning event will be broadcast in high definition and commercial free on PBS Friday, July 4, 2008 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings), simulcast on National Public Radio and around the world to our troops on the American Forces Network. 


"I can't think of a better venue than the U.S. Capitol to honor and pay tribute to my fellow Olympians," said Scott Hamilton. "These athletes represent all of the qualities that have made America so great and it's only fitting that we give Team USA a patriotic send off to Beijing on the 4th of July when we celebrate our nation's birthday!"




The most popular and beloved male figure skating star in the world, Scott Hamilton is also a network TV skating commentator, actor, performer, producer, Emmy Award nominee, best-selling author, role model, humanitarian and philanthropist. As a cancer and brain tumor survivor, he is constantly reminding others that, with fortitude and determination, anything is possible. In 1990, Hamilton was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, adding that achievement to his more than 70 titles, awards and honors. This includes winning four consecutive U.S. Championships (1981-1984), four consecutive World Championships (1981-1984) and the 1984 Olympics. Also in 1990, he became a privileged member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Scott appears regularly on television. He has recently signed a three year exclusive agreement with NBC Sports to cover all of their skating broadcasts including the upcoming winter Olympics in 2010. This past season, he hosted Fox's reality series Skating with Celebrities. On the big screen, Hamilton recently starred in the mega box office motion picture comedy hit Blades of Glory with Will Ferrell and Jon Heder. An acclaimed author, Hamilton received critical praise for his New York Times best-selling autobiography Landing It (Kensington Books, October 1999), an intimate, candid and insightful look at his professional and personal life on and off the ice. His new inspirational book, The Great Eight, will be published by Thomas Nelson Publishing in January 2009.




A Capitol Fourth will include special performances by Grammy Award-winning musicians Huey Lewis and the News, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame legend Jerry Lee Lewis, Tony Award-winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell, classical superstar Hayley Westenra and American soprano Harolyn Blackwell in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Erich Kunzel.




A Capitol Fourth 2008 is made possible by grants from The Boeing Company, the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of the Army, the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS and public television stations nationwide. Air travel is provided by American Airlines.



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