For the airmen and department of defense staffs stationed at Global Strike Command Bases, the celebration of the games will begin on April 5th at five bases here in the United States, as the first ever Global Strike Command Rowing Challenge begins on April 5th.
Officially the eve of the modern day Olympics, April 5th was a day of anticipation back in 1896 as 245 athletes from 14 countries gathered to compete in the 'Games of the I Olympiad' which ran from April 6th - 14th. Fast forward to April 5th 2012, and the modern day Olympic Games and the day will mark the start of a journey embarked upon by thousands of United States Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen, the commander of which; Lieutenant General James Kowalski, being the first to pull his weight and officially begin the competition followed by senior commanders from the 5 bases that make up Global Strike Command who will be gathered in Shreveport, LA at Barksdale Air Force Base.
"Lt. General Kowalski, has made the Global Strike Command Rowing Challenge a spring fitness priority for the command, we never dreamed that he and the base commanders would ratchet up this aspect of our on going American300 Never Quit Series the way they all have." said Robi Powers, the founder of American300 Warrior Tours, the nonprofit which has been dedicated to troop resiliency work around the world over the past four years. "The bases will have one official American300 rowing machine and thousands of airmen who want a crack at pulling on the handle/oar... with the base that accumulates the most meters over the span of the challenge receiving a $50,000 prize... it's going to take total team effort for a base to win this challenge... there's only so many hours in a day, month and that is what American300's Never Quit Series is all about... being great through teamwork!"
The Never Quit Series kicked off with Tom Whittaker, the world's first amputee to summit Mount Everest traveling to all 5 bases to share his personal story of perseverance as well as set the stage for others to follow in his Never Quit footsteps. "What Robi and his team of volunteers are doing is bringing living, breathing, walking examples of everyday resiliency, everyday teamwork and a 4 wheel drive lean forward attitude to our bases... it's definitely not death by PowerPoint when American300 shows up." said one Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant from the command.
What's a Rowing Challenge without Olympic Rowing Team members?
To add to the fanfare and mission of the Never Quit Series, Olympians Sean Colgan and Dan Beery are volunteering nearly 2 weeks to visit the bases in advance of the kickoff on April 5th. With Olympic and World Championship Medals, the two Hall of Fame US Olympians will serve as ambassadors to the AFGSC Rowing Challenge. "Dan and I were both members of Team USA's Olympic 8 boat, if there's one thing about 8 man rowing that can't be disputed, it's that there's a total team approach to winning." says Sean Colgan, who along with Beery will be sharing their own personal Olympic stories of perseverance. "Rowing in the 8 is the ultimate testament to teamwork, there are so many times in training and competition when you just want to give up, your body wants to quit... but you can't... there's a boat full of teammates that are counting on you." he added.
Five bases, five rowing machines...each logo'd up in a color of one of the 5 olympic rings and a challenge to row from April 5th to May 5th... "I think the 245 athletes from 1896 would be proud of what these airmen are attempting to do, honor runs deep throughout the history of the Olympics and no one knows honor better then our service men and women of today's Armed Forces." said Dan Beery, who is also looking forward to sharing his 2006 Olympic Gold Medal while out visiting bases this week. "I want them to touch it, take pictures with it and feel its weight in their hands, because if it weren't for their duty and dedication we wouldn't be able to compete in the Games, let alone bring home gold." he added.
To following the American300 Never Quit Series please visit: www.American300.org
For more on Air Force Global Strike Command visit: www.afgsc.af.mil/
What will happen to the rowing machines after the challenge? Stay with us as we share the story of the rowing machines along with one hard working airmen's journey to London in July... more to come!
The American300 Never Quit Series presented by Global Strike Command is a year long program which officially kicked off during February and March of 2012. American300 has a goal of providing unique guests to AFGSC bases over the span of the year ahead. No federal endorsement of sponsor or nonprofit is intended.