Team in Training, an international sports endurance training program for charity, has enlisted Olympian athletes Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton to raise awareness for blood cancers and raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Eaton and Theisen-Eaton are a real-life Olympic power couple, who most recently competed – and received medals – in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. Eaton competed for the United States and Theisen-Eaton for her home-country, Canada.
Eaton is a two-time gold medallist in the decathlon, and the first athlete in more than 60 years to win back-to-back gold medals. He’s also a five-time world champion in both the decathlon and the heptathlon. Theisen-Eaton is a two-time Olympian who competed in 2012 and 2016. She received the bronze medal in Rio last summer in the heptathlon.
The couple will be LLS’s next national ambassadors and will be featured in a nationwide awareness campaign marking next year’s 30th anniversary of Team in Training.
“The Eatons personify Team In Training,” LLS President and CEO Louis J. DeGennaro said in a press release. “Ashton and Brianne exemplify the spirit of Team In Training with their teamwork and perseverance to achieve their personal best, for themselves and their country.”
Team in Training was established by Bruce Cleland, whose 2-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia in 1986. The original 38 team members of 1988 ran that year’s New York City Marathon to raise funds for blood cancer research. The movement has grown ever since, and has helped set the standard for endurance sports fundraising programs around the globe.
Since 1988, Team in Training has raised over $1.5 billion to fight blood cancers and has prepared more than 650,000 people for marathons, half-marathons and triathlons.
Approaching its anniversary, Team in Training will expand its portfolio to include national and international events in cycling, hiking and climbing; its “Climb 2 Cure” team recently reached the summit of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
“Team In Training is the perfect fit for Brianne and me,” said Eaton. “Our careers have been about chasing personal goals that might seem impossible, while representing something bigger than ourselves. Team In Training lets us stay true to our personal goals while working with this amazing organization dedicated to finding cures for blood cancers. LLS invented the concept of endurance sports training and fundraising for charity, and we couldn’t be more proud to come onboard as Team In Training aims even higher in the quest for cancer cures.”