Claire Donahue Helps Soldiers with the Warrior Transition Battalion


Earlier this month Claire Donahue, a 2012 Olympian and gold medalist, worked on goal setting and swimming skills with the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  The Warrior Transition Battalion is a program that helps soldiers’ transition from life at war to life at home and coping with injuries, both physical and mental.  The program includes conferences, lectures, therapy, goal setting, and other activities that aid their recovery.

A close family friend approached Donahue about participating in an event with the soldiers, and she jumped at the opportunity to help, “I wanted to show how swimming is an amazing form of exercise for anyone that tries.  There are so many positives about swimming. I wanted to show that even if you can’t do certain things it’s a building process.”  During the event Donahue shared her experiences and successes with swimming and how setting goals has been a part of her career.  Goal setting is also a big part of the Warrior Transition Battalion curriculum, and some soldiers struggle with setting obtainable goals, so the work they did with Donahue helped to explain building up to attain real goals. 

While in the pool Donahue focused on freestyle drills to help increase their speed, “Just from an hour they were already at a new level. It was exciting for them, but it was just as exciting for me to be able to see them improve so quickly. A lot of people will shy away from things they don’t understand or aren’t good at. So, one of my goals was to help them understand swimming more and show how much easier it can be when you practice.” 

Donahue is not a stranger to doing appearances in and out of the pool, with kids and adults, but being able to go to Fort Knox was a whole new experience for her.  “The group definitely learned a lot. It was awesome just to be able to sit amongst such amazing individuals.  People always rant and rave about Olympians but soldiers are a category of their own. I was honored to be there, and I am definitely going to go back.”