The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Kellogg’s.
This past Friday, the Olympic Torch reached the North Pole as part of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay. It set off from the northwest Russian port of Murmansk and traveled inside a special lantern onboard a 160m-long icebreaker. This was the first time the Olympic Torch has ever been in the North Pole! As a child of the 80s, I grew up LOVING the Olympics and worshiping athletes such as Mary Lou Retton, Flo-Jo, Greg Lougainis, Karch Kiraly, Dara Torres, Brian Boitano, Matt Biondi as they competed for the US. I was in awe of these athletes – how they were so strong, so fast, so determined, so athletic.
Having spent a few years working at ESPN, I attended the Winter X Games in Aspen a few times and witnessed just how big the competition has become — and was also completely mind blown by the adaptive competition for disabled athletes! I cannot wait for the Skiing and Snowboarding in Sochi – and I also can’t wait to watch the Skeleton competition – holy cr*p that looks scary!
Kellogg’s has hand selected a team of athletes to represent Team Kellogg’s in Sochi – all of them have such great stories on how they got their start. Here are a few of the athletes I’m most excited to watch compete this year!
Noelle Pikus-Pace: Growing up in Utah, Noelle’s High School Bobsled coach asked her to be a guinea pig for his “cookie sheet” on ice. In an instant, she was thrust down the pipe and went from sheer terror to the biggest adrenaline rush of her life. She’s competing for GOLD in the Skeleton race in Sochi!
Amy Purdy: Nicknamed “lucky”, Amy lost both her legs, her kidney and her spleen to meningitis at age 19. Survival being “lucky”, Amy didn’t let misfortune stop her and within a year of her double leg amputation, Amy was already placing in the top three in Adaptive Snowboarding events but her journey back to competing this year in Adaptive Snowboard Cross was not easy. She tells a humbling story of a snowboarding fall where her legs, still attached to the snowboard tumbled down the mountain, while she remained at the top.
Gretchen Bleiler: Growing up with two older brothers, the only way for Gretchen to keep up was to join them. She found herself on the slopes at the age of 10 and hasn’t stopped since. I have seen her capture X Games GOLD a few times and my fingers are crossed that she’ll be able to capture her first Olympic Gold in Sochi.
Rounding out the rest of Team Kellogg’s are Meryl Davis and Charlie White [ice dancing], Heath Calhoun [alpine skiing], Kristi Yamaguchi [figure skating], Ted Ligity [alpine skiing], Sarah Hendrickson [ski jumping], Jim Craig [hockey] and Torin Yater-Wallace [free skiing]
Who are some of the athletes you’re looking forward to watching this year?
FitFluential is hosting a Twitter Chat with Kellogg’s and Olympic Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler today from 2-3 pm EST to discuss Gretchen’s approach to training, nutrition and how to start every day great. If you’re reading this before that time, you should definitely check it out! Additional information can be found here.