It is with a sense of optimism that I greet you all once again as we look forward to the Tokyo Games. While we collectively grieve for those who have been lost during the pandemic, we look forward to a brighter day, particularly in the US where we have a substantial portion of our population vaccinated, and we once again have the opportunity and privilege of participating in sport and gathering together again with friends and family.
I want to take a moment to thank and compliment our USAPM staff, who has managed to navigate through the last difficult year, finding ways to accommodate our coaches and athletes, finding ways to hold crucial training sessions and competitions, and finding ways, through their own sacrifices, to keep us operating and in solid fiscal shape.
Now we look ahead to the Tokyo Olympic Games. Despite the logistical difficulties and the challenges that our athletes and coaches have faced this year, we are sending podium-ready athletes to Tokyo. They are experienced, international competitors. Samantha Schultz (Achterberg), who just won her unprecedented 7th!! National Pentathlon Championship, will be taking her incredible run /shoot to challenge the world’s best. On the men’s side, Amro Elgeziry will be pitting his world-class talents against the field in what will be his fourth Olympic Games. Both qualified at the Pan Am Games, so they have had time to mentally and physically prepare for the Olympic Games. The entire US Pentathlon community will be cheering them both on, and USAPM will provide special behind-the-scenes updates and feeds to keep their supporters informed as never before. Go get’em, Samantha and Amro!! We are proud that you are both representing USAPM and the US Army's World Class Program.
The Olympic and Paralympic world is constantly evolving, and we at USA Pentathlon Multisport are not only keeping up with the new requirements but looking ahead. We are small as National Governing Bodies go, but that does provide its’ advantages. The Board has refined our strategic plan which focuses on our athlete development and the resources necessary to provide a fertile opportunity to both identify and support our pipeline, via an athlete’s first approach. We are also focused on good governance practices, working closely with the USOPC in doing so. We are fortunate to have a significant and important long-term relationship with the Army and its WCAP program, with a special thank you to Willie Wilson, who oversees the program. USAPM has just finished the necessary steps to set up our own Foundation to ensure the future well-being financially of the sport in the US. Lastly, but importantly, we are upgrading our interface and engagement with our stakeholders in the digital world so that we can share more than ever the special experience that the sport of Pentathlon provides to our young, elite, and age group participants, as well as to their coaches, families, and friends.
I will be following up on this letter with another post on the Olympic and Paralympic Games to outline our strategic priorities for the coming year to all our stakeholders. In the meantime, again please join me in wishing our athletes and coaches good fortune in Tokyo. We will be there in person and in spirit to support every lunge, stroke, jump, shot, and step.
Go Team USA!