Visa International said it has officially launched Olympics of the Imagination, an educational tie-in with its corporate sponsorship of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

After several months of planning and negotiation, the card association has signed 10 newspapers in the United States to conduct local contests for schoolchildren of ages 11 to 13.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Olympic movement, the contestants will be asked to draw or paint a picture of their vision of the Olympics 100 years from now.

The 10 U.S. winners, along with five from Canada and 10 from Norway, will win four-day trips with their parents to the winter games at Visa's expense. They will attend the opening ceremonies on Feb. 12, as well as various competitions and VIP events.

The participating U.S. newspapers are the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Seattle Times.

Contest announcements and forms will be published through the entry deadline of Oct. 15. Winners will be selected by local panels of artists, critics, and sports and education editors, and will be announced on Dec. 7.

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