January 8, 2022
It’s Saturday morning around 7AM and it’s 12 degrees out! Dogs have been taken out and fed, coffee made the way my wonderful wife likes it, placed it on her bedside table and went back to bed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fall back to sleep (it doesn’t help having an 80 lb dog who likes to cuddle!) But that’s not the point of this story.
Many of you know my wife and I have athletic backgrounds and have always thoroughly enjoyed sports. We played soccer in college, supported our children’s pursuit of same (our oldest rowed in high school), and still actively participate in many others to this day. So much so that when we occasionally get an opportunity to support them at the highest levels, we have availed ourselves. For example, we both volunteered in support of the Atlanta Olympic events held in Washington, D.C. way back when! We’ve volunteered at Pro Golf tournaments, and we currently are hosting a potential future Olympic Athlete (more specifically, a rower) in our home.
So what’s the point of this story, it’s the astonishing life situation the latter has to deal with. Did you know our federal government doesn’t provide direct funding to our Olympic athletes? Did you know that Olympic Athletes are basically on their own (some do get small grants) when it comes to supporting themselves? So imagine you were an up and coming, potential Olympic athlete? How are you going to support yourself while you train 8+ hours a day, 6+ days a week for years for a dream that may (or may not), be realized!
It’s Saturday morning around 7AM and it’s 12 degrees out, and our “future” Olympic Athlete is headed out the door to train! All I can say is OMG!
So it got me to thinking and hence, the point of this story. We can and should be doing more to help support these “potential” Olympic Athletes, as well as existing Olympic Athletes of course. They are working very hard to represent our country and doing it out of a desire to pursue a dream. Where does that motivation come from? (dramatic pause….) PARIS 2024 is exactly 930 days away. No better time to start helping out!
My thoughts on the nature of support are this. We all have our own desires, means, and capabilities that we each can decide upon what works best for our own individual situations. Our personal story of support has always been to either volunteer or open up our home to friends in need in hopes of providing a warm (especially today), caring environment where the most basic of needs can be taken care of. These Athletes obviously have numerous additional needs like health insurance, food, clothing, training gear, basic transportation, travel expenses, etc., etc.
Where does this story go? I’m not sure but for now, I’m posting this on Facebook and opening up a GOFUNDME account with a 2.5 Year Goal of $90,000 (donations are not tax deductible.) There are 3 current “potential” future Olympic Rowers that need our collective support. 100% of anything raised (less GOFUNDME charges of course) will go directly to these Athletes. At the end of each month (Paris is 2.5 years away as mentioned above), we’ll divide the amount raised in the prior 30 days by that number and dispense it equally up to a maximum amount (we’re hoping to disseminate up to $1,000 monthly to each Athlete and have funds available to allow for ongoing Monthly support throughout the year.) To be clear, we’re hoping not only for 1-time donations, but also ongoing monthly support. We deeply appreciate whatever works best for your individual situation.
Are there other causes in this world that need our collective support, certainly! We each need to do our part, where and when we can. For us, this has special meaning and is where we choose to allocate our scarce resources. Be well and Thank You!
US Rowing - https://usrowing.org/index.aspx
Paris 2024 - https://www.paris2024.org/en/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/