Saturday February 24, 2018


April Steiner Bennett

by Adele Correale San Miguel

Published in Vaulter Magazine, April 1, 2016

“Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die,
life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly.”
Langston Hughes

In the summer of 1992, April Steiner Bennett was a pony-tailed 12 year-old, sitting on a couch in her family’s middle class home in Mesa, AZ, when the Olympic spark kindled the flame that became her life’s work.

Carl Lewis, then 31, was leaping into gold medal position with an 8.68 meter long jump at the Barcelona Games. Ignited by Lewis’ athleticism and accomplishment, young April persuaded her father to purchase a membership to USATF. That $12 investment became the ticket to her mythic journey as an Olympian, professional vaulter, and dream chaser.

Twenty-four years later, April’s torch is still lit. Her laser sharp focus is aimed at representing Team USA in Rio. Coached by 2000 Olympian Stacy Dragila, April embodies a high ideal in athletics, acknowledging those who have made her odyssey possible. It’s not her, it’s them.


April and husband Cameron

April and husband Cameron

April coined the term Olympianites to define those who guard dreams. In November 2015, she took the stage at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, to deliver a TEDx Talk on The Beautiful Life of Hidden Olympians. It focused on the parents, coaches, and mentors who encourage others to develop their passions. The Olympian is the dream chaser; the Olympianite, the dream maker. Olympianites give ambition its very best chance.

April’s Olympianites include her husband Cameron, who was willing to move to Idaho for her coaching; her parents, Michael and Cara, who feed her a constant stream of enthusiasm and support; and her sponsors ASICS America and UCS Spirit, who supply the essentials so she can focus on the training.

But April’s Olympianites are not limited to a few.  A village surrounds her that is made up of families and clubs across the country, as well as a tribe of ‘little sisters’ who are lifted by her encouragement and who inspire her in return. The light in April’s eye, and the integrity of who she is, has attracted a crowd of Olympianites who want for April what she wants for herself.

The theme of these TEDx Talks was Thou Mayest, a philosophy born of John Steinbeck that suggests we each have the choice to improve our own condition, and in doing …

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Written by adele

Since December 2015, our athletes have had outstanding PR increases and generated great results for themselves and their schools:roundcube
Carter Mathis – SR Cary Academy 14-9 – Improvement 12″
Trevor Justice – JR Jordan 13-7 – Improvement 27″
Matt Dillon – SR Broughton 13-6 – Improvement 24″
Caleb Wright – JR Jordan 12-0 – Improvement 21″
Eddie Sanders – SO Cary Academy 10-0 – Improvement 12″
Tommy Keech – FR Wakefield 9-0 – Improvement 24″
Matt Lang – FR Ravenscroft 9-0 – Improvement 24″
Chloe Franks – SR Enloe 11-0 – Improvement 24″
Midori Kirby – JR Panther Creek 10-6 – Improvement 24″
Skyler Noble – FR East Chapel Hill 9-6 – Improvement 18″
Ana Hill – FR Jordan 8-6 – Improvement 24″


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