Rev3 5k Proceeds Benefit Boston Bombing Victim
10 May, 2013
Knoxville Community Shows Support for Former UT Swimmer Nicole Gross
On Friday evening, May 3rd, at World’s Fair Park, the Revolution3 Glow Run 5k sponsored by East Tennessee Heart Consultants donated all proceeds of the race to Boston Bombing victim and former University of Tennessee swimmer, Nicole Gross and her family to aid in their recovery.
One characteristic often found in an athlete is passion - passion to be strong and passion to succeed. Nicole, a swimmer from the University of Tennessee (class of 2003) had a passion for motivating others to be their best.
“Nicole was a team player. It was always about each person and getting each person to believe in themselves,” Raellen Simpson, a close friend and teammate said. “I have never met a person more driven to encourage others. To have this happen to such a selfless person is heart breaking.”
Olympic gold medalist Davis Tarwater will be there to support the event and this local athlete.
“This event provides the Knoxville community an important opportunity to support one of its own, Nicole Gross, in her time of need while demonstrating that we stand united as Americans, to rebuke the cowardice of terror and to combat its evil with the goodness and power of the American spirit,” Tarwater said. “Knoxville stands with Nicole, her husband Michael, her sister, Erika Brannock and all those injured in the Boston bombings.”
“Like everyone in the U.S., the Tennessee Athletics family has been shaken by the bombings in Boston, but it has hit home for us particularly because Michael and Nicole Gross are two of our own,” said Matt Kredich, head swim coach at University of Tennessee.
Nicole, her husband Michael, also a UT swimmer, and Erika were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, awaiting their mother, who was about to finish.
“Nicole helped her mother to train and was her biggest supporter,” Simpson said. “Their family is very close, and Nicole and her sister were their mom’s biggest fans. To them, their mom was almost a super hero.”
Nicole underwent her 7th surgery on Sunday and has a long road ahead of her. Her sister has lost a portion of her lower leg.
“Nicole's injuries are devastating, and she has a really tough road towards recovery ahead of her. I’m sure she’ll draw on the strength she developed as an elite athlete as well as the support she's developed because she was an incredible teammate,” Kredich said. “She needs more than that, however. The Knoxville community has a great opportunity with this 5K Glow Run to show our support for Nicole and her family and to show that the Tennessee family extends far beyond the borders of Knoxville. I hope we have a fantastic turnout in honor of Nicole.”
Eric Bell, the local race director of the Rev3 events, saw this as an opportunity to immediately help this local family.
“Triathlon is a tight knit community and, with next weekend’s races, we will showcase exactly what we can do when we come together," Bell said. “The city has been a huge asset to allowing us to take an already planned event and adjust it so quickly for this cause. I hope we can keep the passion for active lifestyle that Nicole was so involved in going strong here in Knoxville.”
“Nicole was a proud girl, proud of where she came from, proud to be a Lady Vol, and proud of her family,” Simpson said. “I want the community of Knoxville to show how proud we are of Nicole, to come out celebrate being fit, celebrate being active and help this family recover.”
If unable to attend the event, the family has set up a website www.bestrongstaystrong.net to help Nicole with her medical bills.