Following an exciting summer of mind and body preparation, tryouts and training, the anticipation is over as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced eight winners of Milk Life Presents Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful. Two of the eight winners began their journey at 24 Hour Fitness in-club tryouts. All eight winners are now in training to compete for a spot with Team USA.
Fabian Griffith of Victorville, CA (skeleton) and Stephanie Grant of Bellflower, CA (boxing) took their first steps toward achieving their Olympic dreams during the Next Olympic Hopeful in-club tryouts at select 24 Hour Fitness clubs in early June.
Stephanie Grant. Winner, the Next Olympic Hopeful (boxing) is a 24 Hour Fitness member and veterinary technician from Bellflower, California. She was always a multi-sport competitive athlete, studying and competing in martial arts since youth. Additionally, she became the first female varsity wrestler in her high school. As a collegiate track athlete, she temporarily let go of sports due to injury, which led her to begin lifting weights. She advanced to the 2017 final phase of the Next Olympic Hopeful, pulling a hamstring while in Colorado Springs that temporarily set aside her Olympic dream. She was asked by the National Governing Body of bobsled and skeleton to train with them but wasnt satisfied, This is my redemption, she said upon receiving the USOCs invitation back to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs after the Next Olympic Hopeful tryouts in June. I know how to train and better prepare for this opportunity and want to prove that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
Fabian Griffith, Winner, the Next Olympic Hopeful (skeleton) is a personal trainer at the 24 Hour Fitness Apple Valley, California, club and lifelong competitive athlete from Victorville, California. While growing up and in grammar school, Fabian and his family were homeless for a brief period. He remains close to his parents and is proud of their ability to overcome homelessness. While in college, he found an affinity for track and became very competitive. His track coach helped him to become faster and encouraged his Olympic dreams. This is an opportunity to make my family proud and to do things for them as they become older, said Fabian when he received the invitation to the USOCs Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Nearly 3,500 athletes from across the country applied online or participated in tryouts hosted exclusively at 24 Hour Fitness clubs and regional tryout locations. From this pool of athletes, 90 were invited to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to participate in the finalist phase of the program. Following the OTC tryout, the eight winners were invited to join the national team camps for the eight participating sports: bobsled, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, rowing, rugby, skeleton and weightlifting. The eight athletes are eligible to receive financial, training and medical support as they work toward representing Team USA and the opportunity of competing at the Olympic Games.
We deeply value our relationship with the USOC and the Next Olympic Hopeful. It offers us a forum to demonstrate the importance of team support and the determination to achieve your goals, said Tom Lapcevic, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, 24 Hour Fitness. Team effort is at the heart of our member relationships and the support we deliver to help them achieve their personal fitness goals. When we proudly share the Next Olympic Hopeful and Team USA athlete stories with our members, their journeys prove out that point and the desire to achieve our goals that is in all of us. We look forward to following the athletes of the Next Olympic Hopeful and their inspirational stories in the years ahead.
The winning athletes are:
- Kayla Caldwell (Tuscarawas, Ohio), weightlifting
- Stephanie Grant (Bellflower, Calif.), boxing
- Fabian Griffith (Victorville, Calif.), skeleton
- Shaye Hatchette (Fort Gibson, Okla.), canoe/kayak
- LaDarren Landrum (Spartanburg, S.C.), rowing
- Deena Manitu (Charleston, W.V.), cycling
- Lindsey Mayo (Gallatin, Tenn.), rugby
- Rodriquez Russel (Danville, Va.), bobsled
In addition to the eight winners, 38 athletes from the pool of 90 were extended invites by the participating National Governing Bodies to continue training with their identified sports. Two of the athletes who tried out at 24 Hour Fitness have been named to Team USA Bobsled:
- Sylvia Hoffman, 24 Hour Fitness member in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and competitive multi-sport athlete representing USA Weightlifting internationally since 2012; was chosen to train with USA Skeleton in 2013 and has always dreamed of competing at the highest athletic level as a U.S. Olympic athlete. I had only one week to prepare for the tryouts, she said. Upon receiving the USOCs invitation to the final phase in Colorado Springs she thought, Its about to get real¦ Since then, she began bobsled training and won the 2018 National Push Championships in September and was recently named to the 2018-19 USA Bobsled Womens National Team.
- Josh Williamson, 24 Hour Fitness member in Lake Mary, Florida and the 2017 inaugural season winner of the Next Olympic Hopeful in bobsled recently earned a spot on the U.S. Bobsled Mens National Team. In June last year, I had absolutely no expectations when I went to the tryouts at the 24 Hour Fitness club in Winter Park, said Josh Williamson. After being sidelined by sports injuries and shoulder surgery, my goal was to rehab. Then, the Next Olympic Hopeful tryouts happened, and its completely changed my life. As the winner of the Next Olympic Hopeful, Josh began training with USA Bobsled and propelled himself into the spotlight of international competition, capturing five medals, including two golds, on the North American Cup circuit and also won the 2018 National Push Championships.
For more information on season three of Next Olympic Hopeful, visit TeamUSA.org/ScoutingCamp.
About the USOC
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. The USOC is focused on protecting, supporting and empowering Americas athletes, and is responsible for fielding U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, and serving as the steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the U.S. For more information visit TeamUSA.org.
MilkPEP, Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation’s milk companies, who are committed to ensuring all children have access to nutrient-rich milk. The MilkPEP Board runs the national Milk Life campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the powerful nutritional benefits of milk “ with essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, in each 8-ounce glass. For more information, go to milklife.com.
About 24 Hour Fitness
As an industry leader for more than 30 years, 24 Hour Fitness changes lives every day through fitness. Conveniently located clubs, furnished with a wide variety of strength, cardio and functional training equipment, are the perfect environment for fitness professionals to deliver dynamic personal and group training programs. GX24 and cycle rooms feature a popular array of live classes included with membership. Combined with a welcoming community, the compelling TV and magazine content of 24Life„¢, Fit:Perks Rewards and the innovative 24GO app, there are a multitude of offerings to engage and inspire every member to lead a full and healthy life both inside and outside of the club. Opening new clubs on average at the brisk pace of one every few weeks, 24 Hour Fitness is headquartered in San Ramon, CA and serves nearly 4 million members in over 420 clubs nationwide.
To learn more about us and to find the club nearest you, visit 24hourfitness.com
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