Posted Kenzie Kramer on 8/4/2016 |Remarkable! People
In Girls on the Run, girls are encouraged to set big goals and boldly pursue their dreams. This year’s Olympics, the ultimate “dream big” athletic event, will bring together athletes from around the world who have dedicated their lives to their sport and have worked hard to follow their dreams of becoming Olympians. At Girls on the Run councils across the country, we’re fortunate to have Olympians as both role models and supporters for girls in our programs. Here are a few of the Olympic athletes who have supported Girls on the Run:
While training in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the upcoming Rio Olympics, the US Women’s Field Hockey team gave back to their community and volunteered with Girls on the Run of Lancaster. The team supported the girls at their 5k event by leading warm ups and hosting their own cheer station. Girls in Lancaster let the team know that they would be rooting for them this August and assembled a gift basket for them including cards, photos and handmade bracelets.
Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, who was born with Spina Bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down, led Girls on the Run of Central Maryland participants during one of their 5k events. The awe-inspiring athlete made her first Paralympic appearance in Athens in 2004 and was the youngest member of Team USA. She has participated in both summer and winter Olympic games and is currently preparing for the Rio 2016 Paralympics taking place in September.
US-born athlete Priscilla Frederick will be competing for Antigua and Barbuda in the high jump at the Rio Olympics. While Frederick was training in the United States, she stopped by a practice with Girls on the Run of Lancaster to talk to the girls after their lesson about positive self-talk and cheered them on at practice.
Hyleas Fountain is an American heptathlete who was a silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In her down time from training for her seven track and field events, Fountain coached for a Girls on the Run team in Dayton, Ohio. “Being a part of [Girls on the Run] was awesome,” says Fountain.
Former football player and 2014 US Olympian Johnny Quinn led the warm up and was a starting line ambassador for a Girls on the Run Las Vegas 5k event. As an Olympic bobsledder, Quinn is one of only three people who have competed in both the NFL and the Winter Olympics.
Middle distance runner Carrie Tollefson is a supporter of Girls on the Run Twin Cities. The former Olympian, who won the 1500 meter race at the US Olympic Trials in 2004, now acts as an emcee for fundraising events for Girls on the Run and hosts a running and fitness podcast where she has shared her support for the program.
Be sure to tune into the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics to cheer on Tatyana McFadden, Priscilla Frederick, the US Women's Field Hockey team and the other athletes who are making their dreams come true in Rio!