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Posted on February 12, 2014 | 1:40 p.m.

Olympian Challenges, Inspires Local Athletes at Women & Girls in Sports Luncheon

Source: Jennifer Goddard Combs for the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table

Olympian Dotsie Bausch, keynote speaker at this year’s annual Women & Girls in Sports Luncheon hosted by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, challenged women athletes from across Santa Barbara County to be brave enough to be imperfect.

The luncheon, held last week at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, brought about 500 female athletes and supporters together to celebrate and remember the passing of Title IX legislation and its lasting impact.

Bausch shared her experience of going from a promising modeling career to a severe eating disorder, which almost claimed her life, to an Olympian, winning a silver medal at the London 2012 games in track cycling. She encouraged the girls in the audience to be vulnerable, take chances and not fear failure.

In addition to her Olympic medal, Bausch is a seven-time USA Cycling National Champion and a two-time Pan American gold medal winner. Catharine Manset Morreale, senior vice president at Pacific Western Bank, chaired the luncheon committee, which also included:

» Laurie Leighty, SBART president and senior vice president and head of operations and human resources at American Riviera Bank
» Cara Gamberdella, real estate agent at Village Properties
» Jeanie Purcell-Hill of Coast 2 Coast Collection
» Diane O’Brien, assistant to the Chancellor at UCSB
» Sara Spataro, regional director at Special Olympics Santa Barbara
» Jillian Davis, client relationship manager at Heritage Oaks Bank
» Diana Morin, director of finance and administration at Girls Inc.
» Lisa Skvarla, director of Annual Fund and President's Council at SBCC Foundation
» Barry Taugher of Barry Taugher Consulting

Pacific Western Bank was the lead sponsor.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.

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