Michigan residents who cheered local athletes as they competed valiantly at the 2012 Olympic Games can now purchase a new license plate to show their support for Team USA.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced the availability of the plate today with an assist from Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber, who tweeted an image of the new plate to her half million followers on Twitter. The redesigned plate features bolder USA lettering and the phrase “Go Team USA” along the bottom.

For each sale of the $35 plate, $25 benefits student athletes training at the U.S. Olympic Education Center (USOEC) at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. When the plates are renewed, the additional $10 goes entirely to the USOEC.

“Michigan has strong connections to the U.S. Olympic program, including world-class training facilities and extraordinary athletes and coaches,” Johnson said. “Olympic heroes like Jordyn Wieber, Allison Schmitt, Claressa Shields, Betsey Armstrong and even Michael Phelps have lived and trained in our state on their way to gold medals. I encourage anyone who wants to support Team USA to buy and proudly display one of these license plates.”

The new plate replaces Michigan’s existing Olympic design that was introduced in 1995. The old plates had a legal citation and the words “U.S. Olympic Education Center” under the Olympic rings symbol, along with the phrase “Olympic Spirit” at the bottom. More than 75,000 of the tax-deductible plates have been sold and renewed in the state, generating more than $2 million.

“This new Michigan license plate is a great way to say, ‘Go Team USA!’” said Wieber, a DeWitt resident and member of the United States’ gold medal-winning U.S. gymnastics team in London. “As an Olympian, I’m grateful for all of the Americans who lift us up with their support.”

Michigan is one of 11 states to currently offer a license plate benefiting the U.S. Olympic program (http://goo.gl/IjxTJ).

“We are proud to partner with the Michigan Department of State and Northern Michigan University to offer such a unique way for Americans to take part in the realization of Olympic dreams,” said United States Olympic Committee Chief Development Officer Janine Musholt. “These U.S. Olympic-themed license plates are a great visual for showing your support of Team USA.”

The USOEC at NMU challenges student athletes to think independently, develop a lifelong appreciation for learning, acquire career skills and become productive citizens and ambassadors for the United States, while also providing world-class facilities and support services that athletes need to become Olympic champions. Approximately 25,000 athletes from more than 40 countries have participated in USOEC programs since the center opened.

An order form for the Olympic plate is available at http://goo.gl/KfMTy. Plates can be purchased by mail, fax or at any Secretary of State office and will be mailed to customers. Olympic plates may also be personalized using Plate it Your Way. For more information, visit the Secretary of State website at www.michigan.gov/sos. Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/michsos and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/michigansos.



More From WFNT