Zaferes recalls being an active participant in the youth ministry directed by Linda Sterner.
Katie Hursey Zaferes, shown during the cycling portion of an International Triathlon Union competition in London, will make her Olympic debut Aug. 20. (Janos Schmidt/ITU)
Like his wife, Katie, Tommy Zaferes is a professional triathlete. (Wagner Araujo/USA Triathlon)
“One of my favorite rituals,” she wrote, “is when my husband and I pray together before bed. One of us will start, then the other will fill in anything that the other one may have missed. Sometimes I learn things about my husband’s day, or even life, just by listening to him pray.”
Their intentions continue to include her third cousin, Jacob Offutt.
“We started taking pictures of ourselves and our friends ‘kickin’ it’ around the world,” Zaferes said. “We wanted to show Jake that there were many of us fighting with him.”
“Katie’s not only a great athlete, she’s a kind and considerate person,” said Joe Offutt, Jake’s father. “Jake looked up to her. Her accomplishments and travels were a good distraction for him.”
South Africa was among the locations Katie Hursey Zaferes took the “Jake’s Kickin’ It” campaign. (Courtesy Katie Hursey Zaferes)
“I remember one particular Mass, when I was deciding whether or not I was going to commit to triathlon,” she said. “The entire homily, I felt like the priest was speaking to me. He was saying that sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.”