We have written before about the many organizations and their efforts to provide assistance and opportunities to children, whether in the U.S. or abroad. These are wonderful programs and it is easy to understand and support such initiatives for young people. We have also mentioned that we are a country with a population whose overall demographic profile is aging. And such a profile is common for many of the other “developed” nations in Western Europe and Asia. What about our the needs of our parents and grandparents, and eventually, ourselves? Living long is one thing. Living well and having fulfillment later in life should not be underestimated.
Jeremy Bloom, a star multi-sport athlete (not too many Winter Olympians and D-1 football players out there), has created an organization, Wish of a Lifetime, that aims to provide such opportunities, especially to those elders whose financial position makes it hard to just get by. Kudos to Jeremy and his team.
The full article on Jeremy and Wish of a Lifetime by Vicki Michaelis at USA Today, can be found at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/vancouver/freestyle/2009-11-10-jeremy-bloom-retires-skiing_N.htm, with an excerpt below.
Bloom retires medal dreams for his Wish of a Lifetime
After reviving his skiing career last year for a run at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, the 27-year-old Bloom officially announced Tuesday he is retiring. He says he feels too committed now to helping other people realize their dreams, through his Wish of a Lifetime foundation.
“I’d love to go to the Olympics. I feel like right now, today, I could put on skis and compete with anyone in the world,” Bloom told USA TODAY during an interview Tuesday at his foundation office in Denver. “But training eight hours a day didn’t feel the same.”
Bloom finished as high as sixth in moguls at World Cups last season. U.S. freestyle head coach Jeff Wintersteen says the two-time Olympian “had a great chance” of making it to a third Games.
But he primarily spends his time on the Colorado-based nonprofit he began in January 2008 in honor of his 84-year-old grandmother, Donna Wheeler, whom he says “was like a second mother to me.”
Wish of a Lifetime grants wishes to elderly, low-income adults, from visiting out-of-state family members to skydiving for the first time.
“The purpose of the foundation is to inspire others, to inspire our generation to change the way we look at aging,” Bloom says. “I just found it completely consuming.”
So consuming that he spends most days at the foundation offices, in a rented house near the University of Denver, working with the foundation’s one full-time employee, an executive director, and 10 interns.
“I’m at a new landscape in my life, with the same challenges that I once had in sports,” he says. “It’s just a game that I can play the rest of my life. So everything just really made sense.”
(The full article can be found at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/vancouver/freestyle/2009-11-10-jeremy-bloom-retires-skiing_N.htm)