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With dream deferred, Olympic hopefuls to bike across Colorado for charity

(KKTV)
Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 3:30 PM MDT
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The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics was a necessary, but frustrating blow to athletes around the world. But with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to take lives and leave millions jobless, some Americans are using their free time for a good cause.

Nine U.S. Olympic and Paralympic triathlete hopefuls are biking 483 miles across the state of Colorado in just 24 hours to raise money for charity. Named the "Operation CO>COVID," the team is hoping to raise more than $20,000 for the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund and the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado.

"Instead of racing in Tokyo, we will be racing the sun to finish our ride before sundown and raising money to give back to the community for COVID-19 relief," triathlete and paralympic hopeful Melissa Stockwell said. "It's really just us wanting to give back. Just to help out a community that we're really passionate about."

The relay challenge will take place June 19, starting on the Utah-Colorado border heading east across the Rockies before ending in Kansas. The team will bike in groups of three, taking shifts while gaining a grueling 23,000 feet in elevation. Team USA did the math-- the bikers must maintain a average speed of 21 miles per hour to cross the state before a full day is up.

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