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For my uncle, Wayne, who lost his life to the disease, and my uncle, Mark, who is a survivor thanks to early detection!
1 in 6 men get prostate cancer, yet awareness and screening for men remains extremely low. Our mission with the TeamWinter S1X event is to change that. S1X is a month-long charity run, in September, where Athletes from around the world can run, walk or wheel to raise money and generate awareness for prostate cancer. To learn more, click here.
An ambitious young athlete, 16-year old Winter Vinecki has been making waves in the sport of triathlon, running and skiing. Racing since the age of five, her competitive spirit has compelled her to be the best. By the age of nine, she found herself competing in an Olympic Distance triathlon; a distance usually reserved for seasoned adult triathletes. Winter initially had thoughts of racing as a means of bringing light to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. This all changed one spring morning. In May 2008, Winter experienced personal hardship that would prove to be the defining moment in her life and career as an athlete. After a series of medical tests, her dad, Michael, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer and only survived for ten months following his diagnosis. Winter found her true cause in which to race for, founding Team Winter, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, to honor her dad. The grim outcome was met not only with sadness, but with determination. Winter vowed to do everything in her power to put an end to prostate cancer and help find a cure so that other families wouldn’t have to endure the personal hardships that her family continues to go through. Thus, Team Winter became a vessel for funding prostate cancer research and raising prostate cancer awareness on a global scale. A portion of the proceeds raised has already helped researchers develop a drug that is currently in clinical trials and could of potentially helped treat her dad’s cancer.
Winter started her athletic career as a two-time IronKids National Triathlon Champion. Each first place trophy she received she sent to a person affected by prostate cancer as a means of support and a gesture of goodwill. While most kids cherish their trophies, she cherishes the people she gives them to. Winter served as the IronKids Ambassador for three years introducing kids to the sport of triathlon and encouraging them to lead an active, positive and healthy lifestyle. Winter went on to become the 2014 Pacific Northwest XTERRA triathlon age group champion and is a strong contender in obstacle course racing with two Spartan World Championships under her belt. Winter spends a lot of time cross training in numerous sports to keep her healthy and injury free as she chases Olympic dreams.
Today, the growth of Winter, as an athlete and Team Winter as an organization is exponential. Winter was recognized for inspiring and encouraging youth across America. In November 2013, Winter set a world record for the “youngest person to run a marathon on all seven continents” and also become the “youngest person to run 26.2 miles in Antarctica”. She set the world record to honor her dad and the 1 in 6 families affected by prostate cancer.
After the passing of her dad in 2009, Winter's determination has only grown. While maintaining a nearly all A’s at Stanford University’s prestigious online High School, Winter is currently in her fourth season of living and training year-round in Park City, Utah at the Utah Olympic Park. Winter is the 2014 Jr. National Aerial Ski Champion and placed 5th and 7th at the World Jr. Freestyle Championships in Italy. Winter has her goal set on representing the USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
For Winter, it's not about the attention. It's about bringing vindication to her dad, who was given a death sentence in the form of prostate cancer; a disease in which one in six men will be afflicted with. She strives every day, sacrificing playtime and other luxuries kids her age take for granted to ensure that she is doing all she can to bring an end to this tragic and all-too-common disease. Some may find it hard to fathom that a 16-year-old is capable of all of what she has accomplished, but for her, it's only the beginning.
Learn more at teamwinter.org
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