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Mike Ergo and Lisa Anderson

2021 IRONMAN World Championship

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Dear Friends,

     On February 5th, 2022 I will compete in The IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. As any triathlete will tell you, this is the chance of a lifetime. Though as exciting as this is, the greater honor will be carrying the American flag for the 26.2-mile run in honor of Lance Corporal Nick Anderson. At the finish line, I will present the flag to his mother, Lisa, to recognize her family's sacrifice. Lisa is a good friend, and the cofounder of the Gold Star Initiative, so it is only fitting that we honor her boy by carrying the flag all the way down Ali'i Drive to the finish line.The Ironman Foundation has allowed me to connect my two passions: bringing healing to those who suffer, and endurance sports. Last year the Ironman Foundation took me up on a challenge I gave them: to take my experiment of carrying an American Flag for a Gold Star Family at an Ironman triathlon and make it a national movement

Why is this important?

  1. Many of my fellow combat vets carry a heavy load of survivor's guilt. For years I avoided the families of the fallen from my Marine Corps unit. I believed they would resent me for making it home when their sons had died. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
  2. Gold Star Families often get a burst of support following the death of their child, but after the funeral, the discomfort of their friends and community results in these families being avoided and isolated.
  3. The communities across the United States want to welcome our veterans home and support their local Gold Star Families, but often don't know how.

These three groups want to connect, but often fail to do so.

The Ironman Foundation's Gold Star Initiative has the audacity to flip the table over on this trend. This year we will bring vets, Gold Star Families, and the local communities together on race day to celebrate the love that is deeper than any hurt and mend the ties that have been frayed or severed.  


Friends, I can't do this alone. I'll be running the race, but I need you on my support team. You can help by donating today and sharing this with others who can also contribute to this cause. Let's join together to show our Gold Star Families that we acknowledge their sacrifice and pray for their peace. 


With Gratitude,


Mike Ergo


More about the Ironman Foundation

Each year, a select group of athletes from around the world are selected to support the mission of the IRONMAN Foundation as Ambassadors. Together, we share a passion to create positive tangible change in our race communities and prove that "Anything Is Possible."

Since 2003, over $50 million has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs including the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 8,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after race day. We #RaceForMore.

LEARN MORE about the IRONMAN Foundation's giveback around the world.

WATCH the IRONMAN Foundation's service project videos.

 

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