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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Million Dollar Challenge Presented by Qualcomm to Kick-Off on October 16, 2010
NBA Legend Bill Walton, CEOs and Local Challenged Athletes to Participate in Epic Ride
San Diego (Oct. 1, 2010) - The fifth annual Million Dollar Challenge, presented by Qualcomm will kick-off on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, announced the Challenged Athletes Foundation®, the event's organizer and beneficiary. The 100 participants will then embark on a seven-day, 620-mile cycling tour down the rugged California coastline - their journey culminating at La Jolla Shores Kellogg Park on Friday, Oct. 22.
"In its fifth year, this event has become one of the premiere cycling events in the country," said Jeff Jacobs, managing partner, Rancho Valencia and MDC Co-Founder. "It has also enabled CAF to provide millions of dollars worth of adaptive sports equipment to deserving physically challenged individuals. The MDC has been and will continue to be a gift for so many in San Diego and the world."
Each of the Million Dollar Challenge (MDC) cyclists have pledged to raise $10,000 or more - one million dollars total - for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a non-profit organization that helps physically-challenged individuals around the world live healthier, fuller lives through participation in sports.
"The MDC is physically very challenging and the ride and athletes really inspire you," said John Sarkisian, a MDC "alumni" and CEO of SKLZ, one of the event's major sponsors. "You grow close to the athletes during the training rides and the achievements of the challenged athletes really pushes you to overcome your own personal challenges." SKLZ, an innovative manufacturer of sports skill development products, and is hosting the ride-in celebration on day seven.
The funds raised will help pay for adaptive sports equipment like handcycles, racing chairs, sports chairs and sports prosthetics, as well as training and competition expenses, programs and events that help physically challenged individuals get off the sidelines and into the game.
This year's event will include numerous special guests, including former UCLA and pro basketball star Bill Walton who, after 36 surgeries himself, understands the importance of good health. Also joining the ride will be top athletes from the Garmin Transitions pro cycling team.
MDC also includes stopovers in Santa Cruz, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Newport Beach. The riders' hard work and completion of the ride will be recognized and rewarded at a ride-in ceremony at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores on Friday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. and again when they have the option to cross the finish line of the San Diego Triathlon Challenge on Sunday, Oct. 24, at La Jolla Cove.
Riders of the MDC come from a variety of athletic backgrounds. Several of the ride participants are challenged athletes, while others are participating as a way to raise funds and awareness for the foundation.
Additional MDC event sponsors include Wells Fargo The Private Bank, Bryant Rubber, XX1090 Sports Radio, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Competitor, Triathlete Magazine, Neutrogena, Vision Quest Coaching and Trek.
To learn more about the Million Dollar Challenge, please visit www.cyclemdc.com or call 858-526-6584.For more information about Challenged Athletes Foundation, go to www.challengedathletes.org. To follow the MDC on Twitter, go to @CAFoundation or #CycleMDC.
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About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is a world leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved - and stay involved - in sports. CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $25 million has been raised and almost 4,800 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF's outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it's a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF's mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports they love. To learn more, log on to www.challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.
SKLZ, the Carlsbad, California-based company, is the innovator in athletic training, developing and marketing speed/agility/quickness, fitness, and sports skill development products for serious athletes of all ages. The flagship brand of Pro Performance Sports, SKLZ builds on the popularity of the company's breakout baseball product, the Hit-A-Way, to deliver broad lines of training products across a variety of sports. The company offers a Rick Smith Signature Series line of golf training products designed to help golfers gain more distance, eliminate slices, and putt better for lower scores. For more information about the company and its products, call toll-free 877-225-7275 or visit www.SKLZ.com.