USA Olympic Wrestling Team Hikes to Combat Global Poverty as Part of Outreach International’s 2016 Summit Challenge

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Team USA Wrestlers Participate in Outreach International’s 2016 Summit Challenge Activities, Including Benefit Dinner and Sponsored Group Hike Up St. Mary’s Falls Trail

Wrestlers heading to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 15, 2016 arrived in in Fairplay, Colorado to participate in Outreach International’s 2016 Summit Challenge benefit dinner and take part in a group hike to raise money in the fight against chronic poverty.

Members of Team USA supported Outreach International by attending the dinner in Fairplay at Bristlecone View Ranch on Monday, July 18 and participating in a group hike alongside donors and staff up St. Mary’s Falls Trail in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Tuesday, July 19. Attendees included Coach Terry Steiner and three-time Women’s World Wrestling Champion, 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.

“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,” Steiner said.

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 developing communities in which they work located throughout Nicaragua. The following day, athletes and coaches woke up with the sun to hike St. Mary’s Falls Trail, each step sponsored by Outreach supporters around the world to raise money to benefit those living in some of the world’s deepest poverty.

“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 continues. “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, supporters raised funds on behalf of 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.”

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Photos available on request.


About Outreach International:
Outreach International has provided sustainable solutions to end poverty around the world for almost 40 years. We believe giving a gift without educating a community to use, repair, or nurture it is no gift at all. Projects don’t end poverty, people do. That’s why our key investment is in the people themselves— women, men, and children with stunning resilience, untapped intelligence, inherent creativity, and undeniable dignity. Together, we work to give our partners a voice to express their concerns, a means to access the materials they need, and the skills to bring themselves, and their communities, to sustainable levels of income.

About Team USA Wrestling: Women’s Wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in the US. This year’s crop of Olympic wrestlers have successfully qualified for 14 of 18 weight classes, with a team boasting four current world champions, one of whom is also a reigning Olympic champion. Four members from Team USA Wrestling previously competed at the 2012 Olympic Games, while the remaining 10 are making their Olympic debut.

Charlotte Belshe
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