Christina Loukas, an elite diver and a 2010 WSF Travel & Training recipient, qualified for her second U.S. Olympic team last Sunday in Washington in the 3m Springboard event. After finishing ninth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Loukas has been determined to bring home the gold at the 2012 Olympics. In the process, she has made great strides, including a fourth-place finish at the World Championships in Shanghai last year, the best finish by an American woman in a World Championship since 1994.
After three attempts, we are proud to announce that a 2011 Travel & Training recipient, diver Brittany Viola, has qualified for her first Olympic team in the 10m platform event. Despite two ankle surgeries and an 18-month layoff from diving, Viola earned a tenth-place finish at the 2011 diving World Championships in Shanghai, and now, her first Olympic berth.
2011 Travel & Training recipient, Muffy Davis, a top alpine skier and handcyclist, qualified for the Paralympic Cycling Team on June 22. After a fatal accident left her paralyzed in 1989, Davis continued to be a two sport athlete, and has been a vital part of the U.S. Paralympic Cycling Team ever since. She won three silver medals in the 2002 Paralympic Games and won the 2011 Para-cycling Road World Cup.
On Sunday in Eugene, Oregon, 2011 Travel & Training recipient, Aretha Thurmond qualified for her fourth Olympics with her second-place finish in the discus at Hayward Field. Thurmond has consistently ranked among the top ten discus throwers in the world and has a long list of achievements. She placed fifth at the 2007 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, only two weeks after giving birth to her son. She also competed in the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 World Championships.
"It's just been an awesome ride. I think competing at this level has made me a better person. I'm just overwhelmed having been able to do this for this long, and it still excites me," Thurmond said about her successful career.
Also at the Track & Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Stephanie Brown Trafton, a 2004 Travel & Training recipient, won the discus to punch her ticket to London. Brown Trafton threw the discus 213 feet, 10 inches to give her a chance to defend her 2008 Olympic gold medal this summer.
We are honored to call these outstanding athletes our Travel & Training recipients and are proud to play a small role in fulfilling their Olympic dreams.