The countdown is officially on. One year from today, the entire world will tune into the grandest display in all of sports – the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games. And while the Opening Ceremonies are all fanfare, pomp and circumstance and celebration, what the athletes who will parade into London's Olympic stadium went through to get there is anything but that.
These athletes will endure blood, sweat and tears — virtually nothing about their journey will be easy. And unfortunately for some, the financial burden of competing at the highest level can be the most difficult to bare.
That’s where our Travel & Training Fund grant comes in. With the generous support of program partner Gatorade, we provide direct financial assistance to elite female athletes to aid in training costs. Grantees are able to use the funding for coaching, specialized training, equipment, athletic attire, and/or travel. Simply put: We help turn great into best.
Today, we announced 2011’s first-round of Travel & Training grantees. The list contains names you’ll want to keep your eye on – you’ll definitely see some of them a year from now. Hopefully that will be on top of the medal stand.
2011 Travel & Training Grantees:
Aretha Thurmond – Track & Field (Opelika, Alabama)
Natalie Vie – Fencing (Phoenix, Arizona)
Natalie Wells – Archery (La Mesa, California)
Elizabeth Newell – Cycling (Oakland, California)
New Balance Silicon Valley Club Team – Track & Field/Marathon (Redwood City, California)
Carrie Johnson – Kayak (San Diego, California)
Kristin Hedstrom – Rowing (Concord, Massachusetts)
Julia Clukey – Luge (Augusta, Maine)
Maggie Meyer – Swimming (Roseville, Minnesota)
USA Softball Women's National Team – Softball (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Lauren Johnson – Track & Field (Beaverton, Oregon)
Stephanie Jallen – Skiing, Downhill (Harding, Pennsylvania)
Kayla Bashore Smedley – Field Hockey (Shoemakersville, Pennsylvania)
Kimber Gabryszak – Skeleton (Park City, Utah)