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Salt Lake Metro, Utah

July 2005

Steven Cozza Wins Antelope Island National Cycling Championship

Eagle Scout Steven Cozza, who is best known for starting the gay-inclusive Scouting For All when he was just twelve years old, has made new headlines for his first national win in cycling.

Cozza made a name for himself as a youngster when he was the driving force behind Scouting For All, which does not discriminate against gays as the Boy Scouts of America do. He attributes the idea of starting Scouting For All to a conversation he had with his father, who told him that a gay family friend would not be allowed to be a Boy Scout because they discriminate on the basis of religion and sexual orientation. Although not gay himself, Cozza's contribution to the GLBT community in starting Scouting for All has made him a household name in many a gay family.

Now Cozza is out to make a name for himself in an entirely new way.

Cozza held off a field of 67 of the nation's top competitors to come out on top at the USA National Time Trial held at Antelope Island, Utah with a winning time of 45.43.50 minutes. Cozza was the only one in the 67-rider field to break the 46 minute mark.

The 20-year-old not only earned his first national title with his commanding win, but he also rode his way onto the 2005 World Championship U23 squad. Cozza will be representing the USA U23 team, ages 19-22, at
the World Cycling Championships in Madrid, Spain in September, in both the individual time trial and road race.

Cozza said after the race, "this win is a dream come true. I just wanted to enter this race both physically and mentally ready and then whatever happened I could walk away saying I gave it my best. I felt strong out there today. I was ready. I gave it my best. I couldn't ask anything else from myself. I rode this race and have dedicated my 2005 cycling season in the memory of Robert Knight, a friend I knew who died of cancer. When I was out there on the course and began to suffer I then remembered how much Knight suffered and his strong will and courage to live. He said in one of his journals before he died 'it was worth the fight to live'. I felt something out there on the course giving me the strength to never give up and it was Knight who inspired me."

The Team Swift Junior Cycling Development program is proud of their graduate member Steven Cozza. Team Swift Director Laura Charameda is pleased with Steven's results as well as with his career choices.

"Steven is a classic example of an athlete that has prioritized his development and not bypassed the important growth opportunities available as a member of the USA National U23 Team. This important step highlights
the effectiveness of methodical athletic development which is consistent with Team Swift. We emphasize the importance of developing an athlete at a pace that best suits their maximum development. Steven is incredibly
talented and is a great role model for the younger Swift riders."

Steven points out, "Coach Laura and her Team Swift program gave me my start in cycling as a junior rider. I thank her for her guidance and the opportunities Team Swift gave me. I continue to stay in touch with Team
Swift whenever I can to reach out to the younger riders. Coach Laura always gives the young cyclists encouragement and the technical guidance they need. She measures success by each junior rider meeting their own individual goals and dreams. Thanks again to Coach Laura Charameda and to the Team Swift program. My developmen t as a cyclist under Coach Laura and Team Swift has been critical to my success as a cyclist." For more information on Team Swift visit www.teamswift.org

 

 

 

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We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

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