SAN RAMON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Josh Williamson, one of the eight competition winners of The Next Olympic Hopeful, propelled himself into the spotlight of international competition as part of Team USA bobsled earlier this week. The four-man team, piloted by Hunter Church, along with his crew of Hakeem Abdul-Saboor, Lou Moreira and Williamson won a gold, silver and two bronze medals as they kicked off the season of international competition during the North American Cup in Whistler, British Columbia—becoming the only team to medal in every race.
Williamson began an emotional journey to become The Next Olympic Hopeful long before the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), in partnership with 24 Hour Fitness, announced the new talent initiative. As part of the USOC’s quest to enhance the pipeline of world-class athletes pursuing Olympic sport, the program began last summer with open applications and exclusive 24 Hour Fitness in-club tryouts nationwide. Hundreds of athletes completed a battery of tests to qualify for selection. The top 91 athletes were invited to spend five days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to go through an intensive screening, sport-specific training and receive insight from leaders in sport medicine, science and psychology. The five-day journey was documented for an NBCSN special entitled Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful.
The winners—one male and one female athlete per sport (eight total, including Orlando, FL resident Josh Williamson)—were invited to join the national team camps of four sports: bobsled, skeleton, track cycling and rugby. The athletes are also eligible to receive financial, training and medical support as they prepare for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games in their identified sport.
“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 in January, my goal this year was to rehab. Then, The Next Olympic Hopeful tryouts happened, and it’s completely changed my life.” Josh has begun training with USA Bobsled for a chance to compete during the upcoming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
“Josh’s transformation in the past six months is nothing less than inspiring. We can’t wait to see where he goes from here,” said Tom Lapcevic, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, 24 Hour Fitness. “He demonstrates how the powerful combination of motivation, mindset, fitness, and a passionate, like-minded community can stimulate a life-changing journey to a full and healthy life. It’s a commitment we make to each of our members, the ‘everyday athletes’ of our club community.”
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. As such, the USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements throughout the country. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.
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 studios feature a popular array of live studio classes included with membership. Combined with a welcoming community, the compelling TV and magazine content of 24Life™, Fit:Perks® Rewards and the innovative My24® 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