Hello friends!
    It is with great excitement I announce that I have been selected to represent the United States in cross country skiing at the World University Games in Strbske Pleso Slovakia! The World University Games is an international sporting and cultural festival that is staged every two years in a different city and is second in importance only to the Olympic Games. In parallel with the primary athletic event I will also be conducting research relating to my major of Chemical Engineering on the environmental impacts associated with the competition. This once in a lifetime experience will enable me to test my athletic ability against some of the best competitors in the world while utilizing the knowledge I have gained as a student in Chemical Engineering to analyze the environmental impact of a large international competition 
    I have invested a tremendous amount of time, energy, and personal resources into preparing myself for this experience. In order to qualify for the World University Games I have trained over 500 hours a year for nearly six years as an elite cross country skier. During this time I suffered a near career ending injury that necessitated more than 3 years of daily rehabilitation. For the duration of my injury I was repeatedly pushed to the brink of physical and emotional collapse, but fought through each new adversity with the dream of someday being able to stand on the start line representing my country in the sport I love.
     Though an important part of my life, my aspirations as an elite athlete are only one component of who I am. As a senior in chemical engineering I balance my time spent training with time on my studies, and engross myself in a wide variety of academic  pursuits in the hope of using my knowledge to make the world a better place. Over the past four years I have strived to excel in school and have successfully balanced a full engineering course load with skiing and rehabilitation while maintaining a 3.6 GPA.
     It is with the aforementioned goals that I come to ask for your help. In order to make my participation in the World University Games a reality I must raise enough money to cover the costs of travel, lodging, equipment and entrance fees. All totaled, the trip itself will cost $4000 while my equipment and entrance fees are another $1500. 
     Skiing and racing have led me on a journey I could not have imagined 8 years ago as I strapped nordic skis to my feet for the first time at ABR ski trails in the frozen northwoods of Ironwood Michigan. I fell in love, and through good and bad times alike pursued that love with every ounce of passion I possess. Thank you one and all for being with me on this grand adventure. Your support over the years has propelled me forwards and enabled me to follow my dreams in every way possible. Words simply cannot express my level of gratitude.

May all your trails lead the most amazing view!

Sincerely, 

Ben Noren


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