With the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver just a little over four months out, Nike brought a group of journalists last week to the gleaming Canadian city to check out their female athletes' intensive training as they prep for possible Olympic stardom.
In addition to presentations on apparel and shoe launches, journalists at the Women's Training Summit got coveted one-on-one time with eight amazing estrogen-powered athletes. Set in the Vancouver Olympic Center/Vancouver Paralympic Center and the brand-new, sustainable-minded Oval Center, we already have Olympic fever.
Compared to its competitors, Nike's history supporting female athletes is unparalleled as far as breadth and influence. It all goes back to 1984, when Nike sponsored Joan Benoit Samuelson in the first women's marathon race of the Olympics passed the finish line with a gold medal.
Nike's umbrella covers the pro down to the college level, where the number of girls it supports can run to 27,000 female athletes in just one season.
The athletes at the conference represented a cross-section of winter sports, from skeleton to curling, and each of them has an incredible biography of accomplishments, some of which they garnered even in the face of personal hardships. We hear from 17-year-old pairs figure skater Keuna McLaughlin, Olympic gold medalist skier Julia Mancuso, two-time Olympic bronze medalist speed skater Jennifer Rodriguez and two-time World Cup skeleton race winner Katie Uhlaender.
Read the interview with the women after the jump