NEW YORK, Aug. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Women's Track and Field Team USA in Rio this week features several young women who competed in the Colgate Women's Games. Phyllis Francis, Natasha Hastings, Deajah Stevens, Delilah Muhammed, Nia Ali, and Ajee Wilson developed their talents participating as early as elementary and mid school, rising to the top of their fields to become champions at Colgate Games' finals at Madison Square Garden or The Armory in NYC in the last decade.
Until this week, the nation's largest track and field series boasted 20 former Olympic champions in its 42-year history, with many returning as long-time officials. Among the first, Colgate Games Director, Cheryl Toussaint is a Silver Medalist from the 1972 Olympic Games. Toussaint says six former participants qualifying and competing in Rio this week is unprecedented.
"Each year we welcome thousands of girls and young women of all ages and abilities, from elementary school through college and beyond. The Colgate Games are about the importance of continuing education and gaining self-esteem in an atmosphere of friendly competition, but they also draw top talent and through the years the Games have produced hundreds of national champions; and with these six young women on Team USA, 26 Olympians," said Toussaint.
"What makes the journeys of these six young ladies truly extraordinary is also a testament to the importance of the Colgate Women's Games to countless young women. Each of these Olympians began competing as young girls, and the Games' provided the impetus to excel in competitive athletics, realize their potential and achieve their dreams," said Toussaint.
"These champions represent some of the best former competitors, and will be an inspiration for thousands of others who will continue to compete when our 43rd Annual Colgate Women's Games Track and Field series returns to Pratt this December and for years to come," said Toussaint.
Participation in the Colgate Women's Games is completely free. Girls and young women compete within their own age/grade divisions for ribbons, medals and points. Events include 55 meters, 55-meter hurdles, 200 meters, 400 Meters, 800 meters, 1500 meters, high jump and shot put. Top point scorers advance to the Finals where they compete for trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company.
The 43rd annual Colgate Women's Games resume this December, with four preliminary meets and semi-finals at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and finals at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory NYC. Hopeful young track stars, parents and coaches can find information about the program at www.colgategames.com.
Olympic Medalist and Meet Director Cheryl Toussaint is available for interviews or In-Studio guest.
Contact: David Forman
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SOURCE Colgate Women's Games