The 63-day, 4,000-mile Trek Demonstrated the American Spirit and Also Helped
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.–(Business Wire)–
A team of exceptional athletes, many service men and women injured while serving
in Iraq and Afghanistan, dipped their front tires and themselves in the Atlantic
Ocean Saturday at the conclusion of their cross-country trek. The core team of
17 State Farm Sea to Shining Sea bicycle riders reached their destination after
inspiring thousands all along the route which took them over three mountain
ranges, across a desert, and through America`s heartland and historic
In addition to the riders` extraordinary personal achievements, the signatures
of supporters who turned out to cheer them along the way generated a $100,000
donation from sponsor State Farm to Habitat for Humanity, which will fund
accessibility features in homes for veterans.
The team departed from the Golden Gate Bridge on May 22 for the inaugural bike
trek across America organized by World T.E.A.M. Sports. The goal of Sea to
Shining Sea was to honor the courage of our service men and women, recognize the
strength of the American spirit and challenge perceptions of how we view
athletes. That goal was achieved.
Air Force Sergeant and rider Marc Esposito, who was discharged from Walter Reed
Army Medical Center just one year ago after barely surviving an IED attack,
explains, “we started out a group of people hoping to ride across the country.
We became a team that realized this ride was much bigger than any of us. We rode
to inspire others to get off the couch, get back to therapy and live a life that
The cyclists tested their physical limits daily. Several riders had
specially-designed bikes that made it possible for them to participate, some
made the trek with prosthetic limbs and others completed the grueling ride while
managing the effects of post traumatic stress and severe brain injuries.
They averaged nearly 70 miles per day in weather that ranged from snow in the
Sierra Nevada Mountains to the heat that has plagued the Midwest and East for
the past few weeks. Saturday`s temperature in Virginia Beach was a blistering
101°. Riders conquered 63 cities from San Francisco to Virginia Beach, including
Sacramento, Calif.; Denver; Lincoln, Neb.; Bloomington, Ill.; Indianapolis;
Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; and Washington, D.C.
Through it all, the riders inspired people, disabled or not, to live active and
enriched lives by providing dramatic proof that disabled Americans can lead
productive lives and accomplish feats most people only dream about.
Sponsor State Farm, activated its agents and associates all along the route to
provide local information, helped with logistics and route planning, and rallied
folks to turn out to celebrate the riders along the way.
To see images and video from the entire ride and find out more about what the
ride meant to team members, visit s2ssbikeride.org.
About State Farm®
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is
the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State
Farm`s 17,700 agents and 68,600 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts
- more than 78.7 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United
States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual
Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of
companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest
companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com or in
About World T.E.A.M. Sports
World T.E.A.M. Sports is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated
to creating soul-stirring opportunities for individuals of all abilities through
the power of sports. By bringing athletes of all cultures, with and without
disabilities together as one TEAM, World T.E.A.M. enables fully inclusive TEAMS
to accomplish goals beyond what is thought possible. World T.E.A.M. Sports
recognizes sports as the true global commonality and believes that through such
activities, the world can grow stronger and unite as powerful communities. World
T.E.A.M. Sports is more than an organization, it is a movement to change the way
the world perceives athletes.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
Melissa McKinley, 309-766-0625
Dana Metz, 312-988-2378
Blair Decembrele, 646-747-3531
Copyright Business Wire 2010