COLORADO — Nine Team USA Paralympic hopefuls, along with USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris, cycled a combined 483 miles across Colorado this weekend.
From Friday to Saturday night, the U.S. Paratriathlon Resident Team rode all the way across the state of Colorado to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts.
The 24-hour relay challenge dubbed “Operation CO>COVID” did make a pit stop 300 miles into the ride.
On Saturday afternoon, the team all met in Colorado Springs and knelt in solidarity on the steps of City Hall for 8 minutes & 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to the team, they were able to surpass the goal of raising $20,210 (in reference to the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place in 2021) for the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado.
"I think just the fact we have done something to give back," explained Melissa Stockwell, one of the nine Paralympic athletes riding. "We wanted to raise money for COVID relief. We have done it. We have achieved our goal. We are here as a team doing this ride together, physically challenging ourselves, mentally as well. Biking down the descents at night can make your heart beat a little bit. So doing that all together and giving back a little bit makes it all worth it."
In total, the team took less than 24 hours to get from the Utah-Colorado border to the Colorado-Kansas border, a total of 483 miles.