Athena Del Rosario is a trailblazer in sports. Now she’s bringing that ground-breaking spirit to the international stage.
The former NCAA soccer player has been included on the Team USA women’s beach handball roster for their upcoming training camp this summer. Del Rosario is a transgender athlete who previously played goalkeeper for the UC-Santa Cruz women’s soccer team.
“I’m super excited about this opportunity to be a part of this team and be able to train and play at the highest level,” Del Rosario said. “Greece is the current world champion, so it will be a perfect opportunity for the team to prepare for the upcoming NORCA championships in July, which is a qualifying event for the 2020 IHF Championship in Italy.”
Del Rosario told Outsports that she has received support from coaches and teammates and hopes to be an Olympian in a few years.
“I’m grateful for Coach De Oliveira, staff, and most importantly, my amazing teammates for supporting me and welcoming me into the U.S. Beach Handball family. I’m hoping to help bring more exposure to the sport and team as we look to be possibly added to the 2024 Olympics.”
Currently there has not yet been a publicly out trans athlete competing in the Olympics.
She told Outsports that the team is currently looking for sponsors to help cover the costs of training and competing for a world title, and she is utilizing gofundme to raise money for her training, as the team is not well-funded.