Cathy Marino

Canoe/Kayak

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  • 1988
  • 1992

Cathy Marino is a two-time Olympic kayaker and 8 times National Champion, who overcame a number of obstacles since her career to pursue her dream.  In 1983, she was sixth at World Championships, and was the leading candidate to make the Olympic Team when she injured her shoulder right before the qualifying finals for the 1984 Olympic Team. 

However, she came back from this disappointment to make two straight Olympic Teams in 1988 and 1992.  In 1996 in Atlanta, NBC News Anchor, Tom Brokaw was so impressed with her approach and work ethic that he mentioned her as an example of the 'true spirit' of the Olympic Games in a keynote address that included 100 of the "Greatest American Olympians" of all time.  She was featured on his national news program NBC Nightly News, American Dream segment in 1997.

Today, she is the President of the Southern California Olympians, whose mission is to assist Olympic hopefuls through the same Koroibos foundation, which assisted her in 1984.  She was the first female fire recruit to pass the Santa Ana College Fire Academy in 1981.  She became an Orange City firefighter and then joined the Long Beach Fire Department in 1986 and rose to the rank of Fire Captain in 2000.

In 1996, Cathy obtained a grant from the Amateur Athletic Foundation to form the Long Beach Canoe and Kayak Center, a non-profit organization to assist inner city children in their efforts to become kayakers.  As a result of her efforts, Cathy's "kids" were able to participate in regional and national competitions. 

After the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, Cathy organized and directed the National Fallen Firefighters Vegas Games, which raised over $45,000 for the victims families of 9/11.  This event included a memorial reception with over 2000 firefighters from across the country.  Cathy was successful in securing the Governor of Nevada, the Mayor of Las Vegas, Senators and Congressman for this event.

Cathy is also on the board of the USOC created non-profit 'Olympians for Olympians Relief Fund, www.oorf.org which assists Olympian in need, through grant requests. In addition she is also Vice President of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, whose mission is to bring the Games back to Los Angeles. http://www.sccog.org/

Cathy is a mother to two children, Jared 19 years and Carly, 15 years old.