Jence's Olympic Dream
Organized by: Jence Ann
Like many athletes, I have always dreamed of becoming an Olympic Athlete. Now, I have the opportunity to make it come true. The adventure begins with my mother. My mom Melinda Rhoads is an Olympian; she was on the 1984 Olympic Team Handball team for the United States. She is responsible for instilling the Olympic Dream in me. Also, she introduced me to Team Handball.
What is Team Handball? It is a widely popular sport that many Americans do not know exists. It is an Olympic sport played on a court a bit larger than a basketball court. If you can picture water polo on land and soccer played with your hands, you can see a vague picture of the sport. Team Handball is played 6 on 6 plus a goalie on each end. It is a physical game that requires strength, speed, and endurance. If you don't have a picture in your head by now, YouTube it! It is a fun, fast paced, and exciting game.
Returning to the adventure, in May, my mom attended her 30th Olympic reunion in Colorado Springs. This is where we found out about a USATH National Team tryout in July. After some discussion and encouragement, my mom convinced me to attend this tryout in Auburn, AL.
The tryout lasted 3 days. There were about 15 girls from different sporting backgrounds trying out as well. We went through 3 sessions of various training and scrimmaged on the final day. Because most of us had never played Team Handball before, we had to learn and participate at the same time. Needless to say, we were exhausted by the end of the weekend. I, however, must have done something right because I was invited to join the USA Team Handball Residency Program.
This is where the journey reaches the present. I have accepted my invitation and have recently moved to Auburn, Alabama. Currently, there are about 25 young women in the residency program training and practicing for USATH. Our mission is to proudly represent the USA in all international tournaments, including the Olympics. We are dedicated and determined to attain this goal. However, we have a few roadblocks in our journey. Unfortunately, USATH is not a fully funded program at the current time. We are doing our best to overcome this obstacle by raising money and building confidence with the US Olympic Committee. This is where YOU come into the journey.
I am asking for donations to help me realize my dream of becoming an Olympic Athlete. Anything that you are willing/able to offer would be greatly appreciated. The donations would benefit me directly and would be used for my travel expenses, tournament fees, training costs, and medical expenditure. I need your love and support to make my dream a reality. Please join my Olympic adventure. Thank you!!