Taking a brief detour from their route to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, Team USA’s Women’s Wrestling members arrived in in Fairplay, Colorado on July 18th to participate in Outreach International’s 2016 Summit Challenge benefit dinner.
“I think it’s important for our athletes to realize that no matter who we are, no matter where we are in our lives, you always have the time to give back to society,” said Team USA Coach, Terry Steiner.
The following day, the athletes and coaches took part in a group hike up St. Mary’s Falls Trail in Colorado Springs, Colorado to raise money in the fight against chronic poverty, each step sponsored by Outreach supporters around the world to raise money to benefit those living in some of the world’s deepest poverty.
Attendees included Coach Steiner, and World Champion Women’s Wrestler Adeline Gray. Gray was recently featured in ESPN the Magazine’s “Body Issue,” and is favored to bring home the gold from Rio this August.
The benefit dinner, held at Bristlecone View Ranch in Fairplay, gave Team USA a chance to enjoy a meal with Outreach staff and supporters and experience the virtual reality footage Outreach filmed in some of the communities in which we work located throughout Nicaragua.
“We speak a lot about women’s rights, and about the social mobility of women to rise up through the ranks,” said Gray. “We get the opportunity as athletes to go out there and compete against some of these girls who went through some of these struggles, so it becomes very real to us.”
“We know that girl,” Gray continued. “She’s competing for something we also believe in, she’s on even ground with us, and she’s gone through so much more.”
At the dinner, attendees raised funds to support Outreach, which will be put to use in the field to establish short-term, community-managed loan programs, improve access to sources of clean water, provide livestock, materials, and training to increase residents’ income, and empower the world’s poor to work together for positive change.
“I have ten strong, beautiful women [on my team], who have the opportunity go out and fight and work hard. That’s what [Outreach International] is doing,” Gray says. “They’re teaching people to work hard in a positive direction.”