TEXAS CITY — It’s not everyone who gets to attend an Olympic sporting event. Cyndi Gillie and six of her BP co-workers will attend three when the Summer Games open in London in two weeks.
Gillie, a training supervisor for BP’s Texas City refinery, was among the group of workers selected to attend the games. London-based BP is a major sponsor of the games and has been spreading the Olympic spirit at its locations across the globe.
In fact, four members of Team USA participated in BP-sponsored events in Galveston County or Houston, including the company’s employee picnic during the League City Village Fair.
On Thursday, BP employees signed good luck cards for American sprinters Wallace Spearmon and Darvis “Doc” Patton, Houstonian and table tennis ace Timothy Wang and Team USA swimmer Brendan Hansen.
For the past year, BP sponsored youth sports clinics with the athletes and others to promote the games and the company’s involvement.
Hansen visited with employees at the plant in October.
He and five-time Olympic medalist Klete Keller also went to Rotary and visited with Texas City, Dickinson, Clear Springs and Clear Creek high school swim teams and visited with Texas City second-graders who were learning to swim.
Gillie said she can’t wait to get to the games. It’ll be a busy three-day trip for her and the other BP Texas City employees.
They’ll attend the water polo, fencing and beach volleyball competitions.
“I’m so excited to be going,” Gillie, an avid hockey fan, said. “I’m really looking forward to the water polo because I’m told it’s like hockey but the players are in bathing suits and they have all their teeth.”
Gillie said she’s been very popular ever since October when she was told she won the trip.
“There were a lot of single — and not-so-single — guys asking if they could go with me,” she said.
Tough luck guys. Gillie is taking her 25-year-old son Jaysen Hall to London.
“When I found out I won, I texted him and asked if he would be busy in July,” Gillie said. “He’s real excited to be going, too.”
BP’s Olympic Experience
• Spearmon and Patton attended the Marathon Trials in downtown Houston on Jan. 14. Texas City employees attended the trials and interacted with the two there.
• Spearmon also attended the Employee Family Picnic in May at Walter Hall Park. Same goes for Wang.
• Hansen visited with employees at the plant on Oct. 18. He and Klete Keller also went to Rotary and visited with Texas City, Dickinson, Clear Springs and Clear Creek high school swim teams as well and TxC second-graders learning to swim.
• Paralympian Chris Waddell visited with Texas City Chemicals and students at Hughes Road Elementary (300 students) and Barber Middle School (700 students) in Dickinson on Feb. 20.
• Olympic Torch provided by BP was part of the Olympics of Reading ceremony at Heights Elementary School on March 2.
• Cyclists who rode in the BP MS150 were Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch and Allison Jones.
• Other Olympians at the Employee Family Picnic were soccer players Eric Wynalda, Lorrie Fair, Tina Ellertson and Omar Gonzales.