SAN RAMON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following days of anticipation and excitement, 90 athletes have been invited to participate in the final phase of “Milk Life presents, Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful,” which will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from July 27-31. The United States Olympic Committee’s talent-identification program aims to build the pipeline of world-class athletes pursuing Olympic sport. Nearly 3,500 individuals submitted online applications to the USOC’s website, while in partnership with 24 Hour Fitness, tryouts were held exclusively in clubs nationwide last month that resulted in 24 athletes advancing to the final phase as part of the 90-athlete talent pool.
Among the 24 athletes who advanced through 24 Hour Fitness in-club tryouts are:
- Stephanie Grant, a veterinary technician, multi-sport competitive athlete and 24 Hour Fitness® member from Bellflower, CA, advanced to the 2017 final phase of “Milk Life presents, Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful,” pulling a hamstring while there; training with Team USA now hoping to further her athletic career. “This is my redemption,” she said upon receiving the USOC’s invitation back to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. “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, a 24 Hour Fitness Personal Trainer in Apple Valley, CA and lifelong competitive track athlete with U.S. Olympic aspirations whose family was homeless for a time during his youth. “I’m very close to and have a lot of respect for my parents,” he said upon receiving the USOC’s invitation to the final phase in Colorado Springs. “This is an opportunity to make my family proud.”
- Sylvia Hoffman, 24 Hour Fitness member in Colorado Springs, CO 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 USOC’s invitation to the final phase in Colorado Springs she thought, “It’s about to get real…”
- Rachelle Gere of Columbus, OH was a late blooming athlete claiming she lacked coordination for most youth sports but running; as an adult, turned to competing in marathons and now triathlons. Studying at The Ohio State University for her graduate degree in architecture. “My husband and I live in Ohio, so we decided to take a road trip to the closest location which was in Valley Stream, New York,” she said upon learning about the tryouts. “I started shaking when I read the USOC’s invitation (to the final phase in Colorado Springs). I couldn’t get to sleep until 3:00 a.m. I was so excited!”
- 15-year-old Cassandra “Cassie” Routsis of Falcon, CO who has been competing in gymnastics since she was able to walk. Said Cassie, “My mom pulled me out of gymnastics one day and I thought, ‘what did I do now?’ I was surprised when she told me that I got an invitation from the USOC (to the final phase in Colorado Springs). I was really excited, and I can’t wait.”
- David Heffernan, a 19-year-old Katy, TX resident and Texas A&M student majoring in aerospace engineering. He rose from a young, self-proclaimed “couch potato” who loved video games to become part of the nation’s fourth-ranked high school rugby team as a freshman; now playing for a Division 1 rugby club. “It had been a while since my Next Olympic Hopeful tryout so the invitation letter from the USOC really caught me by surprise,” he said. “I told my family and my co-workers, and I’m looking forward to working with Olympic-level coaches.”
These athletes will be put through intensive screening and sport-specific training by USOC and National Governing Body high performance staff and will also receive guidance from a 24 Hour Fitness personal trainer that will be on-site. The journey will be highlighted on Team USA social and digital channels and the entire program, including announcement of the winners, will be featured in the USOC Productions two-part documentary airing on NBCSN and NBC on November 24-25, “Milk Life presents, Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful.”
The quest to find the Next Olympic Hopeful will ultimately find one winner for each participating sport and the winners will be invited to join the national team camps of eight sports: bobsled, skeleton, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, rowing, rugby and weightlifting.
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 America’s athletes and is responsible for fielding U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as the steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements throughout the country. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.
About 24 Hour Fitness
Celebrating 35 years as an industry leader, 24 Hour Fitness transforms 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. A multitude of additional offerings 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. Please visit 24hourfitness.com for more information and to find a club near you.