By STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS®, 5/16/2012

Honoring the 50th Anniversary of The US Navy SEALs

The original extreme sport pays homage to the most extreme division of the U.S. Military.

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Source: STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS®

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. -- The STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series, the nation's premier lumberjack competition, announced today it will honor the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Navy SEALs during the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series U.S. Championship at The Great Smoky Mountain Lumberjack Feud in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., June 1-3. The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series presented by Ram Trucks will pay tribute to the SEALs with a special ceremony that will include 10 retired members of SEAL Teams ONE and TWO during Saturday's competition June 2 at 12:20 p.m. EDT.

"It is a great honor to host these first U.S. Navy SEALs and celebrate their 50th anniversary at this year's STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series U.S. Championship," said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager, STIHL Inc. "Our country is forever grateful for this legendary group of Americans, we call the U.S. Navy SEALs."

During the final round of the U.S. Championship Saturday, June 2, STIHL will recognize the 50th anniversary of the SEALS with a special ceremony with five plank owners from SEAL Team ONE and five plank owners from Team TWO, including Rudy Boesch of Survivor fame. Paying tribute to the two original teams, STIHL will present the members with two unique, custom-painted MS 660 STIHL Magnum® chain saws embossed with the 50th anniversary emblem. The MS 660 STIHL Magnum® is the type of chain saw used in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series stock saw discipline.

"We're thrilled at the opportunity to further honor the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Navy SEALs at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS U.S. Championship with original plank owners from both teams present," said Jim Madison, executive director, UDT-SEAL Association.

On Jan. 1, 1962, created from Navy underwater demolition units, the SEALs started with two teams, 20 officers and 100 enlisted sailors under John F. Kennedy's presidency. Coronado, Calif., was the location of SEAL Team ONE; Little Creek, Va., was home to Team TWO.

The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series, billed as the Original Extreme Sport, consists of six professional lumberjack disciplines, the hot saw, single buck, springboard chop, standing block chop, stock saw and underhand chop. Held in conjunction with the Collegiate Series, the qualifying rounds pit the top eight lumberjacks in the region against each other with the top four pro athletes from each advancing to the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series Pro Championship. These four individuals will not only compete against other competitors from around the country for the championship crown, but will also join together to represent their regions in the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Relay Competition. In addition to receiving the ultimate bragging rights in lumberjack sports and a Ram 1500 truck, the top U.S. competitor also advances to the World Championship in Lillehammer, Norway Sept. 8-9. The Collegiate Championship, held every year in conjunction with the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Pro Championship, pits the five regional collegiate champions and one wildcard pick against each other. The collegiate champion not only wins an automatic spot in the Pro Series the following season, but also a spot competing on the rookie relay team in the 2012 World Championship.

Established in 1985 by STIHL, the number-one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America*, the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series attracts the world's top lumberjack athletes in a competition based on historic logging techniques. The Series is seen by millions of viewers annually in more than 62 countries on networks such as Eurosport, Outdoor Channel and ESPNU.

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