|U.S. men's epee fencer Jimmy Moody works out at the new Ted Stevens Sports Services Center, a facility recently unveiled at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.|
As a senior at Pennsylvania State University in 2010, Jimmy Moody thought his fencing days were almost over. An All-American and two-time NCAA team champion, Moody was clearly talented in his sport – but he didn’t expect it to take him this far.
That is, until he was invited to try out for the resident team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“I never thought I could fence or do my sport past college,” Moody said. “I had every intention of retiring, but with the OTC out here and being from Colorado, it gave me the resources I needed to continue and to become semi-professional.”
Since his 2010 college graduation, Moody has earned two World Cup medals and three NorAm Cup podium finishes, one of them gold. His accomplishments have helped the United States Men’s Epee team to its first-ever No. 1 world ranking.
Most recently, Moody earned a bronze medal at the October 2014 North American Cup in Portland, Oregon. He is currently ranked No. 3 nationally in men’s epee fencing, trailing only fellow resident team athletes Andras Horanyi and Jason Pryor.
Without the experience of living at the OTC, however, Moody said he would be nowhere near where he is today in his athletic career.
“The staff, the facilities and the support here at the OTC really help,” Moody said. “They remove all of the stress associated with training so that I can focus on competition. Our lives are as stress-free as possible so that we can be the best versions of ourselves and the best athletes we can be.”
Moody traveled to the London 2012 Olympic Games as a training partner for the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team. For the Rio 2016 Games, though, he wants his name on the roster.
Moody knows tough competition lies ahead, especially less than two years out from the Games – but he’s prepared to put the work in.
“You will encounter people who are faster, stronger, and naturally more talented throughout your life,” Moody said of his outlook on training. “You can’t control this. However, you can control how hard you work and prepare for these moments. They may be faster, stronger and more gifted, but you will never encounter anyone who has worked harder or prepared more.”
And at the OTC, where the focus is on always on sport, he finds it easy to stay motivated.
“The best thing about training here is being around other athletes from other sports,” Moody said. “If I trained by myself or with a local club, I wouldn’t have access to all these other athletes with phenomenal pedigrees and stories. It’s motivating to be around people like that, and it spreads. You can’t help but feel the Olympic spirit.”
Moody added that some OTC athlete services prepare him for a life outside of sport, too. Through USOC sponsor DeVry University, he is working to add a master’s degree to his bachelor’s in economics.
“I see it as an opportunity to go back and continue my education, and I also get to go to a lot of sponsor and networking events,” Moody said. “And I generate a sense of value and self-worth beyond my sport. I realize that I’m more than just my results. The OTC community program work that we do, such as teaching fencing to kids or talking with the Colorado Springs community, has shown me that.”
Between college classes, community events and an intensive training schedule, Moody does not have enough hours in the day to pursue full-time employment. In order to continue his fencing career and achieve his dream of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Moody – like hundreds of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls – relies on private financial support.
Through the Olympic Champions Fund, donors can provide such support directly to athletes like Moody. Team USA Champions underwrite a variety of costs associated with elite sport, ranging from competition and travel expenses to the cost of equipment, coaching and sports medicine services. In fact, 100 percent of Champions Fund gifts are directed to U.S. athletes and the high performance programs that support them.
As a Champions Fund athlete ambassador, Moody will meet with donors and keep them up-to-date on his competition results throughout the lead-up to the 2016 Games. And when he does arrive in Rio to compete on the world stage, his supporters will be able to see firsthand the impact they have made on an athlete’s dream.
To learn more about the Olympic Champions Fund and other current-use giving opportunities, visit Give.TeamUSA.org.