Annia Portuondo Hatch Wooten – what a star! 

That long name has a long and very impressive story to go with it.

I met Annia after receiving a call from the legendary Muriel Grossfeld. She said that Annia needed help as she was making a comeback for the Olympic Games. I knew her then-husband, the wonderful coach Alan Hatch, so of course I would do whatever I could. As it turned out, they did not need my help!

Anna went on to make the 2003 World Championship Team – but suffered a devastating knee injury. Lo and behold, she came back to win the team and individual silver medal at the 2004 Olympics on her signature event – vault.

After the Olympics, Annia had a great career as a fashion designer – I had a chance to go see one of her shows in NYC.

I am so grateful that Annia and Alan came to one of my foundation’s galas and Annia performed on beam – she was gracious and gave great encouragement to the students in both English and Spanish.

Read about Annia’s incredible journey here.

Watch a video of Annia shortly after being named to the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

– Wendy