||BATTLE CREEK, Mich., Feb. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Following a rigorous season of trials and qualification events, both Team Kellogg’s™ U.S. Paralympic athletes have demonstrated from great starts come great things by being named to Team USA. With the Opening Ceremony for Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games nearly a month away on March 7, these U.S. Paralympic athletes have earned the chance to be among those proudly representing their country.
“We congratulate Amy Purdy and Heath Calhoun, two amazing and inspirational athletes who remind fans everywhere that each day is filled with the potential to achieve your goals when you start it off right,” said Noel Geoffroy, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Innovation for Kellogg’s® U.S. Morning Foods. “We celebrate all of the great starts along their journey toward the Games, and look forward to many more as we cheer them on in Sochi.”
Team Kellogg’s Team USA Paralympic athletes include Amy Purdy (Paralympic snowboarding) who will be competing for Team USA for the first time, and in a sport that is new for the Sochi Games, and Paralympian Heath Calhoun (alpine skiing) who will be making his second trip to the Paralympic Winter Games.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of Team Kellogg’s, representing my country and helping show how great starts can lead to so many great things,” said Purdy. “To have the chance to snowboard at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi for Team USA is definitely a dream come true.”
“I’m honored and excited that I get to not only represent my country again, but also my sport and the amazing sponsors like Kellogg’s that have helped me get to where I am today,” said Calhoun. “I’ve had many great starts along my journey toward making Team USA, and I look forward to more when I compete in Sochi next month.”
More About Team Kellogg’s
From now through the Games, fans can view the Team Kellogg’s athletes’ inspirational beginnings through a series of Start Story videos, which follow their journeys to the Sochi Games. These web videos are part of Kellogg’s ‘Give A Great Start’ program, to give fans a chance to help provide breakfast to kids in need. To learn more, visit Kelloggs.com/teamusa.
- Gretchen Bleiler – Snowboarding
- “Enjoy the Journey” – After missing qualifying for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Gretchen rethought her approach to get a great new start in the sport she loves. She decided to start enjoying life along the way as opposed to solely focusing on the end results, and this became her new secret to success as she went on to win a silver medal at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. View her Start Story.
- Heath Calhoun – Paralympic Alpine Skiing
- “Whole Again” – Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Heath joined the U.S. Army. While serving in Iraq in 2003, he lost his legs above the knee in combat. After returning to the U.S., Heath discovered a love for Alpine Skiing during the course of his rehab. This love, and a lot of dedication, earned him a spot on the 2010 U.S. Paralympic Ski team and now he’s focused on Sochi. View his Start Story.
- Meryl Davis & Charlie White – Ice Dancing
- “Destiny” – Growing up just a few miles apart in Michigan, Meryl and Charlie got their start when they met in a local skating rink and were destined to become one of the best ice dancing teams in the world. They won the Ice Skating World Championships in 2011 and 2013, and took gold in ice dancing at the Sochi Games. View their Start Story.
- Sarah Hendrickson – Ski Jumping
- “Share What You Love” – Sarah’s dad and brother both ski jumped competitively, and shared their love for the sport with her when she was growing up. Sarah has developed into one of the premier female ski jumpers in the world, due in large part to the love and support from her family along the way. View her Start Story.
- Ted Ligety – Alpine Skiing
- “Playing Forward” – Ted didn’t have a great start in competitive alpine skiing, getting beaten by boys and girls during his youth. He really got his start when he started “playing forward” – forgetting those losses and finding the drive inside him to become a superstar. View his Start Story.
- Noelle Pikus-Pace – Skeleton
- “Fastest Mom on Ice” – Noelle, a mom of two, is among the top skeleton competitors in the world. Following a severe injury, Noelle rehabbed her way to top competition-shape and finished with a silver medal at the Sochi Games. View her Start Story.
- Amy Purdy – Paralympic Snowboarding
- “Live It” – Amy was 19 when a bout of severe meningitis claimed both her legs and her spleen, and later required a kidney transplant. Instead of giving up, she chose to continue to live her life to the fullest and has persevered to become a successful Para Snowboarder, now competing for Team USA in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. View her Start Story.
- Torin Yater-Wallace – Freeskiing
- “Do What You Want” – Young and talented, Torin started skiing almost from birth and has relentlessly pushed himself to fly higher and go faster ever since. His family and friends have provided the support that allowed that drive to run free, and he brings that same approach to freeskiing, as well as his life. View his Start Story.
- Team Kellogg’s Legends
- Jim Craig – Ice Hockey Legend & Team Co-Captain
- Olympic gold medalist goalie, 1980 USA “Miracle on Ice” Team
- Kristi Yamaguchi – Figure Skating Legend & Team Co-Captain
- 1992 gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame member