The latest international adventures of Natalie Coughlin and Cal Aquatics teammate Kim Vandenberg get another page this week, as they are traveling to visit troops and families stationed at Naval Station Rota and Moron Air Base in Spain this week.
This is the first time either swimmer has participated in USO tours: a series of events with cooperation between the USO and different celebrities to try and boost the morale of American troops stationed abroad.
The pair will also visit various work sites on post, share insights on what it is like to compete in the Olympic Games and encourage youth to follow their dreams.
“I’ve accomplished a lot in swimming and I owe that to not only my coaches, family and friends but also our nation’s service men and women and their families who protect, defend and allow me to live out my dream today,” Coughlin said. “This USO tour is really special to me and I can’t wait for it to start.”
Vandenberg, who has spent a large amount of time training in neighboring France, shared Coughlin’s sentiments: “Swimming is and will always be my first love and I am eager to share my passion with the military. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than talking to kids, sharing my experiences and what I’ve learned, and encouraging them. I am excited to go out on my first USO tour and spend time with those who do so much for us.”
Coughlin and Vandenberg have combined for 13 Olympic medals.