The Rose Cup Brings in Green for Breast Cancer Research

    Rose Chrisitan and Giuliana Olmos

    Oct. 13, 2013

    The idea for a department-wide tennis tournament befitting charity came to Junior tennis player Giuliana Olmos as she watched the 2012 World Humanitarian Day. Her initial inspiration for an inter-sport tournament was to unite athletes from every USC team and raise money for an honorable cause. But nothing came of this idea until Olmos and the women's tennis team learned the devastating news that their teammate's mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    On October 28, 2012, the First Annual Rose Cup offered support for tennis player Kaitlyn Christian and her mother Rose. Rose had been a faithful fan of women's tennis, never having missed a home game and often attending matches with snacks for the girls in hand. After the incredible success of the first tournament and the news that Rose's cancer was in remission, Olmos and the team knew they wanted to bring the event back for a second round, this time even bigger than the last.

    This year's tournament was held on Saturday at the Marks Tennis Stadium. Olmos spearheaded the planning for the day, and singlehandedly solicited donations to benifit breast cancer research at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. The event attracted over 150 student-athletes for an afternoon of food, fun, and tennis. The baseball team came out in full force, hitting home runs over the towering court fence and slamming line drives at their teammates in jest. Women's basketball players practiced serving as the tennis girls offered tips. Swimmers, volleyball players, and cross country athletes all participated in the various drills and challenges on center court.

    The competitive portion of the day, a doubles tournament boasting a brand new Rose Cup trophy, included athletes from ten different sports as well as Athletic Department staff. Lacrosse players filled out much of the bracket, contributing 14 athletes to the tournament. But after four hard fought rounds, it was track's Will Robinson and Oluwakemi Olonade who walked away from the 16-team field with the silver trophy. The men's and women's track delegation certainly earned the hardware, which will reside in the offices at Loker Stadium for a full year, as their 46 athletes in attendance was the most of any team.



    Generous donations from Steve Holwell, Richard and Sandy Tompkins, and many of the women's tennis parents helped raise nearly $3,000 for breast cancer research. Olmos and her teammates plan to tour the USC Norris Cancer Center and learn a bit more about how they've helped their school and the community.