Thursday, February 10, 2011 6:30 pm
Cedar House Sports Hotel, Truckee, CA
Along with working as a researcher for ESPN and the X Games, Nicole Dreon has been writing about sports for many years. She is also infatuated with Africa. On her recent visits to the continent, she wanted to meet women athletes and learn about their everyday lives. Her presentation "Players on a Wild Continent" is presented by Squaw Valley Institute at the Cedar House Sports Hotel in Truckee, California on Thursday, February 10.
Instead of focusing on the doom and gloom, Dreon wanted to present a common thread like athletics that Americans could relate to. "I wanted to show the women as strong, instead of weak."
In the spring of 2010, Dreon traveled to the slums of the capital city of Kampala, Uganda where she met women who were training to become professional boxers. "They are looking for a way out," she said. "These are women who wouldn't typically be noticed, but now they may have the chance to become Olympians or professional boxers."
On her second trip to Africa in the fall, Dreon ventured into Western Kenya to the city of Iten, in the Rift Valley. "Iten is the Mecca of running," she said. "Squaw Valley is for skiing, this place is for running." A highlight of her journey was spending time with Mary Keitany as she trained for the New York City Marathon. Dreon also met with Sylvia Kibet who won a silver medal in the 2009 World Championships in Athletics.
She also spent a week in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, "the Congo", with a women's soccer team called the Lady Simbas. This team was comprised of orphans and single moms. Since they cannot afford to get an education or attend vocational school, Dreon is working with a female physician to raise money for the team.
For more information on Nicole Dreon's "Players on a Wild Continent", visit www.squawvalleyinstitute.org.