Team USA Athlete Supports Adaptive Triathletes Through USAT Foundation
by USA Triathlon Foundation
An experience at Legacy Triathlon led one Team USA athlete to support adaptive triathletes through the USA Triathlon Foundation.
Anthony Galloway had the opportunity to meet elite adaptive triathletes at a Foundation event in conjunction with the race, which also hosts the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships.
He described the national championships as a race that “embodies the Olympic spirit.”
“It was really impressive, and I wanted it to be something that I support,” Anthony said.
Unlike Paralympic and Olympic athletes in many other countries, those in the United States aren’t supported by government funding. Instead, they rely on donors, sponsors and, in some cases, part-time or full-time work.
“Training is a full-time job, and with some having full-time jobs, it’s hard,” Anthony said.
Paralympic athletes also have additional costs for custom bikes and sports prosthetics, which need to be replaced often and aren’t usually covered by insurance. In some cases, a running prosthetic could cost around $20,000, and they wear out just like shoes do. Anthony hopes to give athletes an edge and alleviate financial pressure so they can focus on performing at the highest level.
As an accomplished age group athlete, Anthony has experienced what it’s like to race on the world stage in Australia and Spain as part of Team USA.
He picked up triathlon as the result of a challenge. An avid traveler, he raced his first event in 2014 in a dream location—Honolulu.
“When your first tri is in Hawaii, you get the bug,” Anthony said as he laughed.
A few years later, and with some encouragement from his coach, he raced a Worlds qualifier in New Orleans, where he came “close but not close enough” to making Team USA. That experience pushed him to an eventual qualification for Australia.
Besides racing on Team USA, Anthony also had the chance to see behind the scenes at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, during the Foundation’s Fantasy Camp.
This five-day annual event is an opportunity of a lifetime: living and training like an Olympian. Participants train alongside Olympians and Paralympians while receiving coaching and feedback from some of the best Olympic coaches and trainers in the U.S.
“It’s every competitive triathlete’s dream to aspire to that level of performance,” Anthony said. “It was the closest thing to seeing how that world operates.”
Whether you’re an elite or just getting started in the sport, triathlon carries a hefty price tag. That’s why Anthony supports the USA Triathlon Foundation, a non-profit committed to opening pathways to tri for youth, adaptive athletes and Olympic/Paralympic hopefuls.
“At times, you can feel like you’re contributing to a charity but don’t know the impact,” he said. “In the Foundation’s case, it’s really possible to see that impact. When you enjoy the sport so much, it’s easy to see how others would enjoy it too if they had access. That’s a really good feeling to contribute toward.”
The USA Triathlon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the charitable arm of USA Triathlon. With its mission to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run, the Foundation serves to generate a greater impact on the multisport community through charitable giveback and grants that advance the Foundation’s three pillars: (1) Encourage youth participation; (2) Inspire adaptive athletes; and (3) Ignite Olympic/Paralympic dreams. Since the Foundation was established in 2014, it has provided millions of dollars in grants to organizations and individuals in pursuit of its mission and pillars to create a healthier United States through triathlon.