One of my favorite parts about following this summer’s Olympic Games was getting to see all the amazing, up-and-coming talent from all over the world. Nothing thrills me more than seeing fresh faces in the endurance scene.
I was excited to hear about a new program that Stanton & Company is doing with espnW and the U.S. Department of State that involves mentoring athletes from other countries and preparing them to develop and strengthen their skills for events like the Olympic Games. Its female-driven efforts were even more inspiring. I learned that Stanton & Company, which works with female athletes, is currently hosting an athlete from Cairo, Egypt and helping her achieve her goal of developing a program that empowers young girls via her athletic academy, as well as institute a program for organized sports across the educational system. The program helps women in sports in other countries to become stronger leaders and assist them in finding ways to build and support female participation in sports in their respective countries. It’s great to see different countries working together in combined efforts, especially in the sports arena.
While keeping up with the Games, I couldn’t help but try to put myself in the athletes’ shoes and wrap my head around the level of pressure they must face to perform at their peak and medal at a race that happens just once every four years, on top of learning how to deal with being away from their families, adjusting to a foreign country and coping with other things outside of their comfort zones. So, it’s great to hear of such mentoring programs to help athletes thrive when and where they need it most. I may never understand what really goes through athletes’ heads at the Olympics, but I can certainly give credit where it’s due and give a nod to all the programs, groups and resources dedicated to keeping athletes on top of their games.