LASHINDA DEMUS - TRACK & FIELD
Lashinda Demus is originally from Los Angeles where she was a highly successful high school athlete being named national Girl's "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News in 1999 and 2001.
She won the world Junior Championship in 2002, the NCAA Indoor Championship in 2004, the first of three National Championships and a silver medal in the 2005 World Championships.
Lashinda made her first Olympic team in 2004 while competing for the University of South Carolina. She won her first World Championships medal (silver) in 2005. The world’s top-ranked 400m hurdler in 2006, Demus took the 2007 season off to give birth to her twin boys, Dontay and Duaine.
At the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Demus barely missed making her second Olympic team but bounced back to previous form by 2009, winning another World Championships silver medal. In 2011, Demus finally topped the podium, winning the World Championships 400m hurdles and setting an American Record in the process. She followed it up with a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, and a bronze at the 2013 World Championships.
As one of the most decorated hurdlers of all time, Demus has learned how to apply the mentality her athletic career has fostered to her family life and career goals.
MIKO FOGARTY - DANCE
Born in London in 1997, Miko moved to the US when she was 2 years old. At the age of 12, she was chosen to be one of six dancers featured in the award winning ballet documentary "First Position". She received a contract with the Birmingham Royal Ballet in England at the age of 17 years old and stayed with the company for one year. She danced and taught in over 20 countries prior to and during this time. Afterwards, Miko decided to change directions and pursue science. She is currently an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley majoring in Integrative Biology and researching therapies for brain cancer at UCSF. She is also the Conservatory Director of San Jose Dance International, a non-profit arts organization with a mission to provide entertainment to the community through dance performance.
Throughout her ballet career, Miko received worldwide recognition for her dancing. She was awarded the Gold Medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition, as well as top awards in ballet competitions in Switzerland, Bulgaria, and New York. Subsequently, she was invited to dance in gala performances in Peru, Russia, Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, and throughout the US.
Although Miko’s dance career was flourishing, she could not ignore her goal to pursue a college education and discover the world outside of ballet. She longed to be judged by her intellectuality instead of her physical pursuits. She started at Feather River College and Contra Costa College, where she earned her Chemistry and Biology Associate’s Degrees and was awarded the STEAM Legend Award and the President’s Scholar Award. Miko then transferred to UC Berkeley as an Integrative Biology Major and Fung Fellow with plans to graduate in Spring 2020. Along with college, she has been actively researching in Fire Ecology, Soil Microbiome, and most recently, Brain Cancer Therapies as a Research Assistant at UCSF.
Miko is active on social media with over 275,000 followers on Instagram and 20 million views on Youtube.
JENCE RHOADS - TEAM HANDBALL
Jence grew up with a basketball in her hands and thrived in her hometown gym with her parents and sisters. Thousands of hours spent in that gym lead to a full athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University where she played Division I college basketball as an All-Conference point guard. After finishing her Bachelor’s Degree, she continued playing basketball professionally in Europe for 3 years. She competed in Iceland and Romania being selected as the Guard of the Year and member of All-League Teams.
After broadening her perspective of the world and gaining invaluable experience overseas, Jence was longing for more. Following her professional basketball career, she decided to pursue Team Handball. She was chosen to join the USA Team Handball Auburn Residency Program in Auburn, AL where she also began a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science.
Jence competed and traveled the world with Team USA Handball. She has been selected to the USA Team Handball Women’s National Team for several official competitions since 2014 including: North American and Caribbean Championships, Pan American Championships, and Pan American Games. Most recently, she finished fourth at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru (missing the bronze medal by 1 goal to Cuba).
Before competing in the Pan American Games, she successfully defended her dissertation completing her Doctoral Degree in Kinesiology in August 2019.
SCOTT DEL VECCHIO - ROWING
Born in Paris, France, Scott grew up in a successful rowing family and started rowing at 11 years old.
After leaving Paris to move to Florida, he became a member of the U.S. Junior National Team Selection group thanks to his podium finishes at state, regional and national levels. He was recruited by the Jacksonville University D1 program and went onto be a Varsity Team member for four years as well as pioneering the school’s best finish at the IRA National Championships.
His passion pushed him toward rowing at the legendary California Rowing Club and then PennAC and Vesper boat clubs where he was a finalist multiple times at the National Selection Regattas. He finished his career with a 2nd place finish at U.S. Trials.
During his time as an elite athlete, Scott was a sponsored athlete for the company Hydrow and represented Team JL Racing.
After 17 years of training and racing, Scott is committed to giving back to the rowing community and supporting his teammates during their Olympic Qualification journeys.
LIZ RIZZA - BASKETBALL
Liz Rizza played point guard at Chatham University in Pittsburgh where she averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds per game. She then went on to pursue a career in coaching at Grinnell College, Slippery Rock University, Stanford and Washington University. She then became a National Scouting Director for NCSA where she helped high school student-athletes earn academic/athletic scholarships.
Liz Rizza also has an extensive background in television and production. Her documentary film "Pass the Ball" based on her true story of overcoming adversity throughout her basketball career was featured on MTV2. She was also on a reality TV show "The Next American Princess Season 2".
Liz Rizza holds a Bachelor's degree in broadcast communication from Chatham University, a Master's of Science degree in parks, recreation and resource management from Slippery Rock University and the following financial certifications: Series 7, 65, and 63 licenses. She is now a financial advisor.