SOURCE: World Financial Group

World Financial Group

September 08, 2009 11:50 ET

World Financial Group "Adopts" Four USA Luge Team Athletes

WFG Adds to Its USA Luge Sponsorship With Individual Support Through the Team's Adopt-An-Athlete Program

DULUTH, GA--(Marketwire - September 8, 2009) - World Financial Group, Inc. (WFG) is proud to take part in USA Luge's Adopt-An-Athlete Program, providing individual sponsorships to four athletes to help them maximize their performances in the upcoming 2009-2010 World Cup competitions and the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada.

A USA Luge corporate sponsor since 2007, World Financial Group will add to its overall sponsorship by providing individual financial support to Mark Grimmette, Brian Martin, Bengt Walden and Ashley Walden. Grimmette, Martin and Bengt Walden have already pre-qualified for the 2010 World Cup Team and need just one top 5 World Cup finish to meet the qualification criteria for the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

"World Financial Group believes in the power of dreams. We are honored to provide the financial support necessary for Mark, Brian, Bengt and Ashley to pursue their dreams and make our country and our company proud in the process," said Jack D. Linder, WFG President.

"World Financial Group associates from the U.S. and Canada have become our friends over the past two years and it's been great getting to know them at luge races in both countries," remarked Gordy Sheer, Director of Marketing and Sponsorship for USA Luge. "WFG's participation in the Adopt-An-Athlete program is yet another example of how WFG is providing critical support for USA Luge while extending that friendship."

Grimmette and Martin, a doubles team, are USA Luge's all-time leaders in international medals earned, having won 65 medals in Olympic, World Championship, World Cup and Challenge Cup competitions. The duo scored the silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and the bronze medal in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Grimmette and Martin are three-time overall World Cup Champions (1998, 1999, & 2003) with 11 World Cup wins, giving them the all-time USA Luge lead for career victories.

Bengt Walden and Ashley Walden, singles sliders in the men's and women's divisions respectively, are teammates not only on the track but off as well as husband and wife.

A former member of Sweden's national luge team since 1987, Bengt joined the USA Luge team in 2006. He placed a career-best sixth at the 2009 World Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. and was the 2008 U.S. National Champion and a 2009 Norton U.S. National Championship bronze medalist.

Ashley Walden finished eighth at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and has competed in seven world championships (1999-2001, 2004-2005, 2007 & 2009). She is an eight-time JetBlue Airways U.S. national luge start champion (1998-2004, 2007) and the 2007 U.S. National Champion and 2008 National Championship silver medalist, and the 2000 North American champion.

"Having World Financial Group supporting individual athletes like Brian, Bengt, Ashley and I allows us to focus on winning," said Mark Grimmette. "We're less than six months away from the opening ceremonies in Vancouver and this added help couldn't come at a better time. We can't thank our friends at World Financial Group enough."

USA Luge athletes will be competing in several World Cup events around the globe from November 2009 to January 2010. USA Luge uses the World Cup events to determine the final U.S. Olympic luge team to compete in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver in February 2010.

About World Financial Group, Inc.:

World Financial Group, Inc. (WFG) is a financial services marketing company whose affiliates offer life insurance and a broad array of financial products and services. Driven by its mission to create financially independent families positioned to realize their dreams, WFG's independent associates strive to help individuals and families who are often overlooked by the financial services industry to plan for their financial futures and work toward their goals. With agreements with several of the financial and insurance industries' leading companies, WFG advocates the power of choice for its clients.

World Financial Group, Inc. is an AEGON company. AEGON N.V. is an international life insurance, pension and investment group based in The Hague, The Netherlands, with businesses in over twenty markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Headquarters: 11315 Johns Creek Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097-1517, PO Box 100035, Duluth, GA 30096-9403. Phone: 770.453.9300. For more information, visit WFG's website at

About USA Luge:

USA Luge is an Olympic class member organization of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of luge in the United States. A not-for-profit organization, USA Luge -- the official American representative to the International Luge Federation (F.I.L.) -- is based in Lake Placid, N.Y. with a western office in Park City, Utah, and its natural track operations in the Marquette/Negaunee, Mich. area. Chartered in 1979, as a direct result of the Congressional Amateur Sports Act of 1978, it is the responsibility of USA Luge to recruit, prepare, train and equip the United States National Luge Team for international and Olympic competition, as well as promote the growth of the sport nationwide.

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