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Christine Jennings never set out to specialize in distance within swimming yet as an adult she has shined on the global stage quickly developing into one of the United States’ best open water swimmers winning 2 National titles to date. Inspired by open water legend Fran Crippen, a mentor to Christine who literally helped to keep her in the sport before his shocking and untimely death at a race in Dubai where Christine was also competing, Christine has forged onward taking each year as it comes with her sights set on Rio in 2016. Leading up to the 2012 Olympic year Christine was on track. However, while running onto Copacabana Beach in Brazil to defend her title at Rei e Rainha do Mar, Christine broke her leg in a freak accident that caused a major setback leading into the 2012 Olympic selection races.
Now refocused and at the best place she’s ever been mentally, Christine is loving her training in Boulder, Colorado under Coach Grant Holicky at RallySport Aquatics, thriving amongst teenage training partners who not only push her but look up to her on a daily basis. Coach Holicky has deferred accepting a salary to coach Christine. Additionally, as the only open water races within the United States are the U.S. Nationals, Christine has to pay out of pocket to travel the globe to gain the necessary race experience required so she can excel at U.S. Nationals, ultimately qualifying for World Championships and beyond. Thus, Christine is looking for help to pay her Coach as well as to get her to upcoming competitions in Australia, Hong Kong and Poland. This is so she can be fully prepared in every way possible to achieve her goals at the U.S. Nationals in the Summer of 2014, building the bridge to Rio.
BHP Billiton Aquatic Series race in Perth, Australia: $3,500
Hong Kong World Cup: $1,500
BCT Gdynia Marathon Open Water race in Poland: $2,000
Coach’s Salary: $3,000
50% of all funds raised over the goal will go to the following organizations:
The Fran Crippen Foundation:
It is important to me to support this foundation because it teaches the importance of athlete protection during open water races, including more safety and supervision. FCEF also has grant to help athletes who share the same zeal and class as Fran. FCEF goal is to empower athletes who exemplify the principles Fran embodied as the elevate themselves in the pursuit of their dreams.
Laura Michelle Reed’s campaign:
A friend of mine was diagnosed with Triginemal Neuralgia in October, but at that time she was without insurance. Due to this she had to pay out of pocket for this surgery. It was a surgery desperately needed as TN is so painful it is also called “The suicide disease.” The Doctor was generous enough to first cut off 55,000 of the total 155,000 and then guarantee her surgery if she could pay half of the final amount before surgery (November 19). She raised $50,000 in 8 days!! But, it doesn’t stop there, when she is done with surgery she has to find another 50,000 dollars!
The Jessica Joy Reese Foundation:
This foundation started by and in memory of Jessie, who at just 11 years old was diagnosed with an inoperable and incurable brain tumor called DIPG. Jessie is dear to my heart and her love of the Lord and ability to Never Ever Give Up has encouraged me through some extremely tough times in my life. JJRF is based on Jessie’s Wish of NEGU. It was a dream of an 11-year-old girl to inspire hope to every child and family fighting cancer. Jessie lost her fight on January 5, 2012.