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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Halvorsen Receives Women’s Sports Foundation Travel & Training Grant 

By Tom Horrocks
December, 2 2020

Davis U.S. Cross Country Development Team athlete Hannah Halvorsen just received another boost toward returning to competition for the 2020-21 season when she was recently awarded a Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) 2020 Travel & Training Fund grant.

“I was surprised to receive this grant because I wasn’t sure what would be possible for foundations to be able to provide during COVID,” said Hannah, who continues to train in Alaska and recover from injuries after being hit by a car in downtown Anchorage last year. “This grant means a lot to me. I have applied for it in the past as well because their message speaks to me in powerful ways and receiving support from the Women’s Sports Foundation not only helps me financially but allows me to promote a message encouraging girls and women to find their strengths through sport.”

The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) has awarded a total of $75,000 to 15 individual athletes and two women’s teams, across eight states and 13 sports. Fueled by WSF National Partner Gatorade, the Fund is designed to support female athletes with elite potential who have financial need and would otherwise be unable to afford basic necessities such as coaching, travel, and equipment – vital to achieving even higher performance levels and rankings. This year’s class of grant recipients is largely represented by athletes training and competing to make the USA teams for the upcoming 2021 and 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo (summer) and Beijing (winter), respectively. 

The cost to train and compete can be a challenge for every athlete and, given a historic bias toward men’s sports, that is often amplified for women. This year has been especially challenging as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact. In applying for the grant, many of this year’s recipients reported difficulties in gaining access to training facilities, a loss of sponsorships and lack of competitions. 

“Anyone close to me knows that I am a fierce advocator of gender equality in every walk of life,” Hannah added. “It is an issue close to my heart and something I look forward to having more ability to speak out on with the partnership, while simultaneously using the funding to pursue my athletic goals on the World Cup.”

The 2020 class of grant recipients are a diverse representation of women athletes across sports. Of the 52 athletes who will benefit from WSF and Gatorade’s support - 15 individual athletes, the remainder via teams - six compete in adaptive sports. Further, the 13 sports represented are comprised of eight summer and five winter sports. Hannah is the only skier among the 15 individual athletes selected.

The grants, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, help keep elite women athletes on track to compete at the highest levels in their sport. Which in turn, also helps prepare them for leadership roles now and in the future, beyond the competition. 

2020 Travel & Training Grant Recipients

Training for 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games

  • Gwendolyn Berry, The Woodlands, TX - Track & Field
  • Amy Dixon, Encinitas, CA - Paratriathlon
  • Alanna Flax-Clark, Granada Hills, CA – Para-Equestrian
  • Josephine Fouts, San Diego, CA – Para-Cycling
  • Sophia Herzog, Poncha Springs, CO – Para Swimming
  • Maggie Malone, Birmingham, AL - Track & Field
  • Nia Toliver, Los Angeles, CA - Rugby
  • Mallory Velte, Sacramento, CA - Wrestling
  • Roble Shea Sailing (team), Marco Island, FL – Sailing

Training for 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

  • Danielle Aravich, Eagle, ID - Parabiathlon
  • Hailey Choi, Clifton, VA - Speed Skating
  • Kelly Curtis, Miami, FL - Skeleton
  • Hannah Halvorsen, Anchorage, AK - Cross Country Skiing
  • Alysa Liu, Oakland, CA - Figure Skating
  • Audrey Lu, Frisco, TX - Figure Skating
  • Joy Rondeau, Granby, CO – Parabiathlon
  • Training for 2021 Rugby World Cup
  • USA Rugby Women's National Team XVs, Lafayette, CO - Rugby