From triathlons to jumps, Winter Vinecki competes for a good cause

By the age of 14, Winter Vinecki had run marathons on all seven continents, making her the youngest person in the world to do so.

Now Vinecki, who turns 23 this week, is gearing up for another big milestone – competing in her first Olympics – and along the way she has been able to raise more than half a million dollars for research on the Prostate cancer. On this week’s episode of “My New Favorite Olympian” podcast, Vinecki discussed her athletic accomplishments and how she used them for a charitable cause.

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Vinecki was only 9 years old when his father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. By this time, she had fully developed a love for running and had moved from 5km races to Olympic distance triathlons. She had planned to use her errands as a way to raise funds – originally she wanted to do so to fight childhood obesity – but quickly turned to something that could help her father and others. people facing the same diagnosis.

According to her mother, Dawn Estelle, Vinecki wanted to make sure people knew about the disease. “It’s more common than breast cancer, and men don’t want to talk about it,” Estelle said. “So this 9 year old girl is going to be talking about prostate cancer, and Team Winter is going to be doing the fundraising and prostate cancer awareness.”

When Team Winter was formed, Vinecki would travel the country running, often donating his trophies to people with prostate cancer to show them that someone was thinking of them. She has also spoken at major events such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s annual fundraising gala.

In one year, Team Winter had raised over $ 100,000. She was also becoming an accomplished athlete – she won her first national Ironkids triathlon title at age 11.

Vinecki started to gain attention and after receiving an award from the Women’s Sports Foundation in 2011, she was approached by American aerial skier Emily Cook, who invited her to Park City to try the sport. This led Vinecki to travel there full time to train and compete in jumps. (It was around this time that she also made history with her marathons on all continents.)

In January, Vinecki won his first World Cup jumping competition. She is on track to qualify for the 2022 Games, which would make her the first Winter Olympian with the first name “Winter,” but she fights for a bigger cause than she continues to fight for. ‘honor his late father.

“Winter doesn’t do anything for itself. That’s what’s really amazing,” her mother said. “All the Ironkids triathlon titles and national championships, all the speaking engagements she does, her dream of making it to the Olympics and being on the Olympic podium is for her dad and the cancer-stricken men of the prostate and their families. It’s never It’s about saving lives and helping other families. “

For the full story, listen to the podcast above. “My New Favorite Olympian” is the fourth season of NBC Sports’ Sports Uncovered podcast. New episodes come out every Wednesday that will introduce you to the most inspiring members of Team USA and the issues they stand for. The series is hosted by eight-time Olympic Winter Medalist Apolo Ohno and NBCLX storyteller Ngozi Ekeledo.

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