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Olympians' babies get sponsorship opportunity

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SALT LAKE CITY -- We're continuing to watch Utah's Olympians north of the border. Some of their families are getting help from a unique sponsorship.

There's a mad dash for cash at the Olympics. The U.S. Olympic Committee pays gold medalists $25,000, $15,000 for a silver medal and $10,000 for bronze. However, most of the winter Olympians don't make much money chasing their dreams, so they need to find extra income where they can, like sponsorships.

Nine-month-old Hadley Hedrick's daddy Chad won an Olympic medal of each color in speed skating four years ago in Torino, and he's on track for more in Vancouver. Now they're earning gold for pitching Pampers.

"We'll be shooting video daily of our experience in Vancouver 2010 from Hadley's point of view. You can view that on," Chad says in the ad.

He says it's "a different sponsor than our typical sponsor here in the oval, but you take it when you can get it. It's a great relationship we've got started, and we look forward to spending some special time with my family, traveling around, doing some special things with them."

Lacee Pace, a bright, bubbly one-and-a-half-year-old, is the daughter of Eagle Mountain's Noelle Pikus-Pace. Mom's been a skeleton World Champion and competed in the Vancouver Olympics this year. They also survived a day-and-a-half photo shoot that turned their house upside down.

Janson Pace, Lacee's dad, said, "Make-up and computers and imaging, just a lot of people there who just wanted to see a baby in a diaper and wanted to see us look good for them."

Pamper's topped the USOC's payment incentive for winning medals.

"One of the things they're offering is an educational scholarship for Lacee, for when she gets older and goes to college. So it really is more about the family. And, obviously, anything that is offered to any Olympian is great, especially in these economic times. It's hard to make it there alone. You can't do it alone," Noelle said.

"It's neat to be a part of it and have a family that can get involved. And it just brings everything a little closer together and makes kind of a family journey," Janson said.

Pampers is quick to point out this is a "Family Sponsorship," and since only 15 of the 216 U.S. Olympians even have babies in diapers, the Hedricks and Paces seem to be in the right place at the right time, with the right family dynamic.

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Tom Kirkland


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