USA Field Hockey NEWS Chasing the Dream: M...

Chasing the Dream: Meet the USWNT

Jan. 06, 2016, 12 p.m. (ET)

This roster is made up of rebels.
Athletes who aren’t afraid or timid to reach for things labeled as impossible.

This roster is made up of jokesters.
Quick with playful banter, the team is left with endless laughter and inside jokes.

This roster is made up of animal lovers, artists, yoga instructors and video gamers.

Meet your U.S. Women’s National Team. As part of our Chasing the Dream campaign, every Wednesday until the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games we’re spotlighting a USWNT player on our social media accounts so you can learn a little more about them. Get inspired, learn a fun fact or two and Chase the Dream with us!

Who's up first? Meet fiery forward and Cherry Hill, N.J. native Michelle Vittese. Vittese has proven her staying power as an aggressive attacker for Team USA.
In a strategic move displaying her dedication and determination to make the London 2012 Olympic Squad, Vittese put her academic pursuits on pause at the University of Virginia to focus entirely on making the National Team. Her decision paid off and as a result she was selected to participate in the pinnacle of sport competitions. 

"The Olympic experience has shaped who I am and the person I want to be in the future," said Vittese. "To know you’re playing in the Olympics makes you feel alive – it gives you unparalleled drive and purpose. People ask me it all the time and I cannot put together in a clear sentence the kind of emotions you feel when you hear your national anthem on a world stage like that. It’s indescribable."

Her past experiences with the five rings add extra fuel to Vittese's training. Known on the team as someone who pulls her weight and then some, Vittese is a lifting machine with the muscles to prove it. But there's a deeper reason as to why she challenges herself with heavy lifting than just hitting a new personal record. 

"I’m exhausting all of this energy under the bar to push up 100 kg and for what?" asked Vittese. "It’s literally to be the best I can be at every moment. It pushes you to a place where you can break through a wall of fatigue and your mind telling you, 'you’re too tired to go on.' Once you master the mind like that, you're able to do really incredible things." 

Keep up with our #ChasingTheDream weekly Wednesday posts to find out the other incredible things the USWNT athletes are up to as they prepare for Rio. 

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Michelle Vittese