This article is sponsored by Citi
While athletes train for a particular sport, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has developed methods to get the best physical and mental performance out of each of them.
With experts in nutrition, biomechanics, medicine, physiology, psychology, strength and conditioning, and performance technology, the Sport Performance Division measures, tests and strengthens the potential of qualifying U.S. Olympic athletes. It also offers staff and resources to help with coaching, recovery, performance technology, performance lab, library services and medical support.
The division was founded and funded through the USOC to fulfill a need to help athletes with their physical and mental training. The division also conducts research using cutting-edge technology that can study each facet of an athlete’s performance.
U.S. Olympian Meb Keflezghi won a silver medal in the marathon event at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games against long odds. However, he had to miss the 2008 Games on account of injury. So, how did he go from missing the 2008 Olympic Games to preparing to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games? Meb credits his recovery in part to the USOC’s Sport Performance Division.
The staff focuses on factors, such as sport psychology, that can help athletes perform at their best, especially at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Meb, 37, has joined with Citi to support these efforts and fund the USOC Sport Performance Fellowship, which will help athletes prepare for competition by utilizing the most advanced technology in biofeedback, neural training and mental preparation.
Meb is one of 13 athletes whom Citi is sponsoring in its Every Step of the WaySM program. This innovative digital program benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America by allowing fans to help allocate Citi’s ThankYou® Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter, thereby giving Team Citi athletes the chance to say "thank you" to the Sport Programs that have inspired them.
Meb is hoping his efforts and Citi’s contribution to the USOC Sport Performance Fellowship will help future U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls prepare for competition and one day achieve gold at the Olympic Games.
Citi, a sponsor of Team USA, has launched its Every Step of the WaySM program with a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee, represented by 50 million ThankYou® Points - the currency of Citi ThankYou Rewards. The unique Every Step of the WaySM program allows fans to help allocate these ThankYou Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter.
The more fans participate through Facebook and Twitter, the more ThankYou Points they can direct to their Sport Program of choice, until its goal is reached. At the end of the program, the USOC will use Citi's donation to give the cash equivalent of the ThankYou Points directly to the Sport Program matched with the Team Citi athlete.