Fittingly on Veteran’s Day, professional triathlete Timothy O’Donnell officially announced his partnership with Team Red, White and Blue (Team RWB), a newly-formed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to enrich the lives of our country’s wounded veterans by supporting their reintegration following service related injuries.
O’Donnell, a 2003 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, is very familiar with the US military and those that serve. As a midshipman, he led his team to two US National Triathlon Championships. Later as a graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley, Timothy won the Armed Forces Championship. Throughout his Naval career he went on to win six consecutive Armed Forces Championships.
Since his transition, O’Donnell has gone on to win several Ironman 70.3 events, including course record performances at the St Croix and Boulder 70.3 events. In 2009 he won the ITU Long Course World Championship and is the current Ironman 70.3 US Pro Champion.
Mike Erwin, Team RWB’s founder and director, says he’s excited to have Tim on board. “We know there are thousands of triathletes across the country who would be willing to use their races as an opportunity to build awareness for America’s wounded Veterans and raise money to support them. It’s critical for us to get the word out about this opportunity to join Team RWB and make a big impact. Tim’s assistance will play a key role in helping to inspire others to action.”
O’Donnell is excited about the partnership with Team RWB, too. “I had been looking to giveback by supporting a worthy organization but I wanted to make sure it was a cause that was close to my heart,” he said. The issue hit home in a particularly poignant way for the athlete last year, when one of his former teammates from the Naval Academy Triathlon Team, Dan Cnossen, lost both his legs in combat operations. “When I heard about Team RWB raises long term support for great Americans like Dan through endurance events, I immediately knew this is how I wanted to give back. I am honored to have served our country and now I am honored to serve our wounded Veterans.”
Team Red, White and Blue is a three-pillar organization that aims to improve the lives of America’s wounded Veterans. Those pillars are the athletes raising awareness and money for the organization, the local advocates who volunteer and work one on one with these wounded Veterans, and finally the Veterans whom the organization supports. You can join the Team by signing up to become an athlete or advocate at www.TeamRWB.org.