This year's Feed the Dream Selection Committee had an especially difficult job, as we had the most applicants ever and the fewest number of slots to fill. Plus when you're looking for "fan-able personalities" over podium finishes and world records, it's a slippery slope of subjectivity and emotional investment. So many worthy stories! Commendable humans! Exciting futures! Why can't we help them all?! It was almost physically painful to only choose three to support.
But hard things are worth doing, and they make us stronger. (At least that's what we're telling ourselves...) So without further delay or dramatization, here are our 2018 Feed the Dream Athletes!
A native of Puerto Rico, Diamara moved to the U.S. when she was 17 to pursue her dream of going to college and competing in track and field. Originally a sprinter and hurdler, she was convinced one day at practice by her high school coach to give pole vault a try. She quickly realized she had a nack for it, and hasn't stopped jumping since. She broke the Puerto Rican national record in her first meet for the University of Washington, and is the first Puerto Rican female in history (!) to compete in the vault in the Summer Olympics. This year she's aiming for the top spot at the Central American and Caribbean Games, but more importantly to continue bringing awareness and support of Track and Field back home to Puerto Rico.
Amy's story comes from the gym - the heavy weights section of the gym specifically - but is about much more than just dumb bells and deadlifts. A powerlifter ranked in both America and Britain, Amy found a support system and passion in the gym that took her from a self-conscious high schooler to the empowered woman she is today. She's got her eyes set on a big performance at USAPL Collegiate Nationals this year, and maybe breaking a few records along the way.
After falling in love with triathlon in college and quickly rising to success (top American in the USA Long Course Age Group Championships in 2016!) Ted was offered a dream career opportunity - of the office type, not athletics type - in New York City. With the long workdays, sleep deprivation, and the stress from working finance in the big city, Ted’s workouts and racing suffered. Looking for a better career-sport balance Ted moved back to his home state of Minnesota, where a full season of big triathlon goals (and some finance stuff, too) awaits in 2018.
Give them a follow, a round of applause, join us on the official virtual fan club bus... Or grab a Feed the Dream T-Shirt to literally support them! ($15 from each shirt goes to their athlete stipend.)