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U.S. Venture, Inc. hosts annual wellness expo, USA Luge guests


Local vendors to share health tips and USA Luge holding slider search in Appleton

(Appleton, WI) June 25, 2019 U.S. Venture, Inc. will host its annual wellness expo on Thursday, June 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring local businesses promoting all aspects of health, as well as special guests USA Luge. The wellness expo serves as the capstone of the company’s HealthSmart program and provides team members with opportunities to interact with health experts and all-star athletes. The event will be held at the company’s office at 425 Better Way in Appleton.

“Developing strong relationships is a leading part of our corporate culture,” says John Schmidt, president and CEO at U.S. Venture. “This event allows us to display our commitment to these relationships, as well as provide our team members with connections and resources for leading healthier and happier lives.”

The wellness expo is one of many health initiatives offered at U.S. Venture. Various fitness incentives are offered throughout the course of the year, including a program that reimburses team members for the cost of fitness classes, workout equipment and trackers for team members to track their ongoing progress.

“We want to provide our team members with as many opportunities as possible to succeed in all facets of their life,” says Jen Sabee, wellness specialist at U.S. Venture. “The wellness expo gives them the chance to see the variety of resources available in their community and helps them to make that first meaningful connection!”

As a major sponsor for USA Luge, U.S. Venture has invited national team athlete Brittney Arndt, who placed fifth in the 2018 World Cup in Lake Placid, New York; Aidan Kelly who placed 24th in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and now serves as an assistant coach for the national team; and retired slider Erin Hamlin, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist and 2009 World Champion, who was identified in a 1999 Slider Search.

Hamlin, Arndt and Kelly will pay a special visit to the Boys & Girls Club in Appleton on Friday, June 28 as part of the Club’s “Olympics Week.” The athletes will do a workout with the kids and show them how to take a street sled down a ramp—similar to how athletes start on top of an icy race track. In January, some of the Club kids attended Titletown Winter Games where they first learned the luge basics on top of Ariens Hill.

As part of their visit, the USA Luge team also be hosting the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search on June 29-30 in Appleton. This free, public event, which is the official nationwide athlete recruitment tour of USA Luge, will be held on East Broadway Drive between North Ballard Road and Thornapple Lane, and includes slider clinics from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 2-5 p.m. on both days.

At each session, kids ages 9-13 will learn the sport of luge using wheeled “street” sleds which go at slower, more introductory speeds. USA Luge athletes and coaches will teach skills such as positioning, steering and stopping before young participants are allowed a few practice runs down a paved luge course. Erin Hamlin, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist and 2009 World Champion, was identified in a 1999 Slider Search and will also be at the event to share her luge knowledge.

“Our grassroots program is designed to identify athletic potential in area youth,” says Gordy Sheer, director of marketing for USA Luge. “We’ve helped to develop several athletes from Wisconsin in the past who have gone on to compete at the national and Olympic level, and we look forward to hopefully finding more during our visit.”

Starting in 1985, the slider search event has given more than 25,000 kids from around the country the chance to learn the sport. It serves as the main recruiting tactic of the USA Luge Junior Development Team. An estimated 70 percent of the Olympic teams since 2002 have been identified through the slider search program, and event organizers believe that young athletes from statewide communities may help comprise the next crop of USA Luge competitors.

Hopefuls will only need to attend one of the four available sessions for a chance to qualify for the first stage of USA Luge’s development program, and each participant will receive a free USA Luge Slider Search T-shirt for attending.

To register for the event, call 1-800-USA-LUGE or click here.

Attendees must be present 15 minutes prior to the start of each clinic. A parent or legal guardian must accompany you. Wear long pants (not baggy), long sleeve shirt (not baggy) and sneakers. Shorts and T-shirt can be worn for the physical testing portion. In the event of rain, a clinic may be canceled for safety reasons and will not be rescheduled. A parent or legal guardian must attend the clinic with each athlete.