February 1, 2023
Meet a number of the skilled athletes who name Gainesville dwelling

Of the 133,611 individuals in Gainesville, the school college students and college staff and their households stand out. However there’s one small group that seemingly hides within the shadows. 

Gainesville is dwelling to {many professional} athletes who keep on the town for first-class coaching services and training expertise.

Joseph Fahnbulleh, 21, an expert observe and area athlete, stated he trains with the College of Florida males’s and ladies’s observe and area head coach, Mike Holloway, who was the Tokyo Olympics U.S. Monitor & Area Head Coach.

Meet a number of the skilled athletes who name Gainesville dwelling
Joseph Fahnbulleh trains on a sizzling and humid day on the College of Florida observe. He’s training in Asics gear, which he obtained via his newly signed skilled sponsorship. (Francesca Faraci/WUFT Information)

“Clearly, having such an skilled coach can clarify why an athlete would need to prepare right here,” he stated.  

Fahnbulleh attended the College of Florida and runs the 200-meter sprint. He doesn’t compete for a selected skilled crew, however he lately signed his first skilled contract with ASICS, a worldwide activewear model. 

He stated having top-level coaches isn’t the one issue that contributed to his resolution to dwell in Gainesville.  

“Gainesville gives the proper local weather surroundings for observe athletes,” Fahnbulleh stated. “We wish to be pushed due to the warmth, we wish to need to wrestle to breathe because of the excessive humidity ranges and we wish to have to regulate to the moist slippery floor each every so often.” 

Skilled feminine observe and area athlete, Anna Corridor, 21, agrees with Fahnbulleh about Gainesville offering a pure surroundings that makes coaching difficult and contributes to creating her higher every day. 

Corridor used to compete for the Gators final season earlier than she made what she considers to be a simple resolution to go skilled since she was capable of keep in Gainesville and prepare. 

Anna Corridor research over a mid-morning espresso on the Opus Espresso store within the Innovation District. (Courtesy of Anna Corridor)

“I knew that I’d prepare right here and nonetheless be near my faculty associates and the Gainesville neighborhood,” Corridor stated.  

Fahnbulleh and Corridor stated they’ve Gainesville hotspots that they weren’t prepared to depart. 

“I’m in love with Chipotle,” Fahnbulleh stated. “However the one at College is completely different.” 

He stated when he walks in there most afternoons, he looks like the workers predict him. Fahnbulleh stated he sees different regulars he has met from the Gainesville neighborhood.  

“If a fan is searching for me, go to the Chipotle on College round 3:20 p.m. every weekday,” Fahnbulleh stated. “I’m at all times seeking to meet different Chipotle lovers and followers.”

Corridor stated she likes to hang around at Opus Espresso within the Innovation District of Gainesville. 

She stated that she goes there to do homework, hang around with associates and get an iced chilly espresso. 

“I really like you could sit and chill like you’re at dwelling. I at all times meet new individuals, and the pleasant employees at all times places a smile on my face,” Corridor stated.

She stated she goes at the very least 3 times every week and within the mid-morning. 

Whereas she has no complaints about Gainesville as a coaching hub, one factor that bugs her is just not accessing a world airport. 

Except her vacation spot is Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte or Miami, she is pressured to take connecting flights. 

“Sadly, this may very well be one factor that pushes different skilled athletes away from coaching in Gainesville,” Corridor stated. 

Fahnbulleh and Corridor each stated the climate gives an excellent coaching surroundings, the coaches are certified and Gainesville has facilities that make them comfortable. 

Nic Peterson, considered one of Corridor’s coaches, stated he smiled from ear to ear when she informed him she wished to proceed her skilled coaching in Gainesville. 

Nic Peterson coaches Anna Corridor on the 2022 World Championships. “I’m comfortable that I’ve been with Anna all through her faculty profession at UF and with the U.S. I stay up for working along with her for some time,” Peterson stated. (Courtesy of Anderson Bobo)

“I’m so comfortable that Anna determined to remain right here as a result of that is her household, and Gainesville is her dwelling,” Peterson stated. “That is why I feel {most professional} athletes which can be Gators resolve to remain right here.” 

Peterson stated it shocks him when athletes throughout the affiliation go skilled and resolve to not keep in Gainesville as a result of he believes the teaching is unimaginable, the services are nice and the neighborhood is welcoming to all. 

Peterson stated he’s beginning to see increasingly skilled athletes round city. 

Fahnbulleh stated he’s not but shut with another skilled athletes in Gainesville in addition to these in observe and area. 

All of the elite athletes round city don’t at all times get the possibility to fulfill one another. 

“Actually, I didn’t notice what number of skilled athletes are nonetheless in Gainesville,” he stated. “It has by no means been a subject individuals speak to me about.”

Fahnbulleh stated, and Corridor agreed, they know different skilled athletes, however not all of them. They stay up for assembly them and dealing with them to contribute to the neighborhood. 

“Moreover my boyfriend, Ben Shelton, and the opposite skilled observe athletes that I prepare with, I don’t personally know plenty of different skilled athletes in Gainesville,” Corridor stated.

Ben Shelton, 20, an expert tennis participant, stated Gainesville holds a particular spot in his coronary heart.

Shelton moved to Gainesville when he was 10 years previous and hasn’t left since. He attended the College of Florida for 2 years and competed with the lads’s tennis crew. After two profitable seasons, he determined to compete professionally however continues to dwell and prepare in Gainesville.   

“I really like this neighborhood and I really like the coaches and the individuals I encompass myself with right here,” Shelton stated. “My sister competes on Florida’s girls’s tennis crew, and my dad is the top coach for the lads’s.”

He stated wouldn’t take into account coaching anyplace else since all the things he wants is right here.

Sherridon Dressel, an expert swimmer for the California Condors, stated she determined to coach in Gainesville after her faculty profession due to the relationships she had constructed. 


Sherridon Dressel and her boyfriend Khader Baqlah, one other skilled swimmer in Gainesville, prepare on the College of Florida out of doors pool. The 2 have been coaching collectively for six years. (Francesca Faraci/WUFT Information)

“It was one of the best resolution for me,” Dressel stated. “And I used to be assured that my coaches, associates and the neighborhood would again me.” 

She stated Gainesville has grow to be her dwelling. The coaches and services are additionally unmatchable. 

Dressel stated she loves when she will discover locations to chill out round Gainesville to destress after lengthy days of apply and different stressors. 

Dressel stated she loves strolling close to Lake Alice as a result of it’s calm and quiet. She additionally has lately grow to be a YogaPod-sponsored athlete for a yoga studio in Gainesville. Yoga offers Dressel plenty of time to suppose. 

Sherridon Dressel on her afternoon stroll along with her canine at Lake Alice. “It isn’t solely me that enjoys the Lake Alice walks, so does my canine,” Dressel stated. (Courtesy of Sherridon Dressel)

Like Fahnbulleh and Corridor, Dressel stated that she thinks the humidity is an enormous motive why skilled swimmers select to coach in Gainesville. 

The moisture within the air helps clear the chlorine from a swimmer’s chest and throat. In chilly environments, it’s tougher to breathe.  

Dressel stated she loves dwelling in a small city. She loves her spots round city and looks like she has made private connections with all of the native cafe staff. 

She couldn’t give a particular hotspot for followers, however she stated to maintain eyes open at native cafes.

Peterson stated he doesn’t suppose Gainesville residents are conscious of the skilled athletes roaming town. 

“I see skilled observe athletes, swimmers, tennis gamers, and golfers coaching in Gainesville,” he stated. “I hope extra individuals discover that Gainesville is full of nice athletes and reap the benefits of them being right here.”