Military Families at Naval Station Rota and Moron Air Base Treated to USO Visit From Olympic Medalists Natalie Coughlin and Kim Vandenberg

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Competitive Swimmers Take a Break from Swim Training and Wrap Up Morale Boosting Visit to Spain

U.S.A. Olympic Swimmers Natalie Coughlin and Kim Vandenberg take a photo with Kendell Meritt, at Naval Station Rota, Spain, at the Aquatic Center, October 7, 2013. Coughlin and Vandenberg are in the

I had a wonderful time on my USO trip to Spain visiting the troops and their families," said Coughlin. "Both of my grandfathers served in the military (Marines and Army), so I know the sacrifice that is made...

Twitter Pitch: @The_USO treats military families in Spain to visit with Olympians @NatalieCoughlin and @tweeeeeeeetme!

Olympic swimming medalists Natalie Coughlin and Kim Vandenberg showcased their competitive spirit and extended their heartfelt gratitude to military families in Spain as part of a USO tour Oct. 5-9. In the region to show their support to America’s Armed Forces, today the pair wrapped up their first ever USO tour at Moron Air Base. The pair first teamed up in 2008 at the Beijing Olympic Games.


  •     As part of the USO experience, Coughlin and Vandenberg met with troops and military families stationed at Naval Station Rota and Moron Air Base in Spain. The pair also participated in a military training working dog demonstration, toured a flight line, explored the inside of a C-5 military aircraft and led a swim clinic.
  •     While onsite, the pair shared insights on what it is like to compete in the Olympic Games and encouraged youth to follow their dreams. The group also encouraged youth to always do their best and extended their heartfelt gratitude.
  •     Coughlin is the only American female athlete to win six medals at a single Olympics (at the 2008 Beijing Olympics) and the first woman in Olympic history to win back-to-back gold medals in the 100m backstroke. She is a 12-time Olympic medalist who left the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics as the most decorated female athlete. She currently holds more than 49 medals (22 gold, 17 silver and ten bronze). A proud representative of the American Swim Team and the daughter of a veteran police officer, she understands the importance of working hard and having a loved one sacrifice their life to protect others.
  •     Swimming competitively since the age of 8, Vandenberg is one of the fastest butterfly swimmers in the world. She has competed and medaled at the Olympics, World Championships and Pan American Games. After the Beijing Olympics, she moved to France to compete in European competitions. When she isn’t in the pool, Vandenberg is an Ambassador to several nonprofits, an aspiring photographer and swimwear designer.
  •     Not a stranger to working with Olympic athletes, the USO sent 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Carly Patterson to Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2012. Participating in what was her first USO experience, Patterson led tumbling and gymnastics clinics as well as toddler gym classes for military children.


Attributed to Natalie Coughlin:
“I had a wonderful time on my USO trip to Spain visiting the troops and their families. Both of my grandfathers served in the military (Marines and Army), so I know the sacrifice that is made by the servicemen and women as well as their families. Hearing their stories and being able to say thank you was life changing.“

Attributed to Kim Vandenberg:
“All of the military families I’ve met on this trip have been so inspiring. From the children who just relocated to Mildenhall to the kids who have been stationed in the UK for more than a year, our nation’s military families go through a lot and they deserve our support, respect and, most importantly, our thanks. I’m honored to have been a part of this USO tour.”


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About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, jcpenney, Jeep, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation and TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit

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