This article is sponsored by Citi.
San Diego resident Meb Keflezighi is known as "Marathon Meb" after becoming the first American man since 1976 to win an Olympic medal in the sport during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Having won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials with his best time ever, Marathon Meb is one to keep your eyes on at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Meb, 37, came to the United States as a 12-year-old refugee from the African nation of Eritrea. He was a finalist as a track and field team member for the 10,000-meter race and won a silver medal in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. In 2009, he became the first American since 1982 to win the New York City Marathon.
Adding to his list of accomplishments, Meb is now one of 13 athletes whom Citi is sponsoring in its Every Step of the WaySM program. This innovative digital program benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America.
Already a corporate sponsor of Team USA and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Citi wanted to do more by creating a way to help fund U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sport Programs that have inspired Citi's team of 13 athletes. Citi also wanted to make it possible for its customers and Olympic fans to get in on the action.
Citi launched its program with a $500,000 donation to the USOC represented by 50 million ThankYou® Points - the currency of Citi ThankYou Rewards. The unique Every Step of the Way program allows fans to help allocate these ThankYou Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter, allowing Team Citi athletes to say "thank you" to the Sport Programs that have inspired them.
The more fans participate through Facebook and Twitter, the more ThankYou Points they can direct to their Sport Program of choice, until its goal is reached. At the end of the program, the USOC will use Citi's donation to give the cash equivalent of the ThankYou Points directly to the Sport Program matched with the Team Citi athlete.
Meb supports the United States Olympic Committee Sport Performance Fellowship. While he won a medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, it was against long odds since he was ranked 39th out of 100 of the world’s best marathoners. After an injury prevented him from competing in the 2008 Games, he went to the Sport Performance Center to recover. Now Meb is back to peak condition and attributes his recovery in part to the science and expertise of the United States Olympic Committee staff.
By supporting Meb, you’ll be helping the USOC fund the Sport Performance Fellowship in sport psychology. This fellowship will help future Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls get ready for competition by using the most advanced technology in biofeedback, neural training and mental preparation.