Thank You for Your Support as I Race Walk to Rio! July 22, 2016
I want to first start off by saying THANK YOU! Going to the Olympics has been a long awaited moment, and I cannot believe it has finally come. It has taken years of relentless hard work and patience, and thanks to your support; I was able to make my dream of becoming an Olympian come true. Words alone cannot express the gratitude I have for all of you.
This season has been so positive, and has helped keep the five ring fever burning. It began with a huge PB that made me the 2 nd fastest American ever in the 20km race walk, and then I was 1 st American finisher at the Race Walk World Championships in Italy. I finished at that race with my fastest time yet at a big Championship. Just a week after that race I secured my 5 th consecutive 15km National Champion title. Finally, I was able to punch my ticket and rejoice in the fact that I was going to be competing in Rio. My hopes are to excel and keep up this great streak in Rio.
Leading up to Rio, there is a lot of preparation. I have been planning my travel to Rio de Janeiro, working with my coach on my training plan, obtain the necessary equipment I need and receiving medical treatment to prevent injury. I also have had to increase my treatment of seeing trainers, doctors, massage therapists, and chiropractors to a couple more times a week. Your donations have really helped with these appointments and paying for an extra gym membership to gain access to a pool.
I have not been working the past two months in order to gear up for the trials and for Rio and I am solely relying on my saving at this point to get me through Rio. When the games are over I will be looking to work much more. I am going give it everything I have on race day. I want to represent the Team USA and my home to the best of my ability. I have been working hard to keep my fitness and prepare myself for what may lie ahead. All of my hard work training is still with me from this year, and I have been relentless in my strength and cross training. I feel very confident that I am heading in the right direction to excel at the Olympic Games.
Thank you for believing in me, and helping bring me to this moment. Nothing will ever compare, and I know my success in largely in part due to your generosity. This journey has always been a group effort, and I thank you for being part of that amazing support family.
As many of you know, I am chipper, energetic, caring and a race walker, with the hopes of making the 2016 Olympic team. I started race walking on my high school track and field team at (Rochester) Rush-Henrietta, in NY. I would have never expected the event to become such a large part of my life. The more I participated in the event, the more I realized how naturally it came to me. Race walking brought me to compete at the collegiate level at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. When I graduated college in 2011 I decided to be bold and step out of my comfort zone and I moved even further away from home to San Diego, CA to start training with my coach, Tim Seaman.
I just missed making the Olympic team in 2012 by 3 seconds. Since then I have been making steady improvements on my time and placement internationally. This year I have already improved my 20km time by 89 seconds, when I competed in Nomi, Japan. My improvement makes me the 2nd fastest woman in America at the 20km race walk. The Road to Rio has not been easy, and certainly had it’s downs; but I have enjoyed every step of the way. My trips to compete around the world have come at a high cost. Between flights, hotels, food, transportation, and all the other life expenses, the expenses have added up quickly.
I wish I could say that this road to Rio has been one that was financially stress free, but as any track and field athlete knows, this is not the case. The truth is that the money I do receive in my event depends solely on which races I decide to go to, and what place I finish in at those races, and as you can guess, a first place finish is not always guaranteed. The fact of the matter is that the amount I receive is far from enough to support my athletic career, and I find myself working 20hrs a week on top of my training.
I currently have the Olympic standard, and in my journey I humbly ask for your help. I am so close to reaching my life's biggest dream, and with your help I can help to make it a reality. Thinking back to when I participated in this event for the first time, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today. I have cried, sweated, and smiled my way to this point, and I know that there is no place else I'm supposed to be. I can confidently say that I am ready for the Rio 2016 Olympics, and with your help, I can finalize my plans.