Oiselle, the Seattle-based women’s apparel company, signed Kate Grace as their original sponsored athlete way back in 2012. Since then, the brand has made headlines for signing other professional athletes like Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman—and most recently added running blogger and influencer Kelly Roberts to their roster. But Grace, the original bird, is leaving the flock, and her next flight remains unknown.
Grace wowed everyone at the U.S. Olympic Trials last July when she won the 800 meters, making her first Olympic team. As they do at every major race, road or track, the Oiselle crew was loud and proud for their athlete, cheering for her over the sides of the stands when they realized she punched her Rio ticket.
There have been rumors on social media and other running outlets that Grace has been picked up by New Balance, a brand who sponsors some of her Northern California teammates like Kim Conley. But one thing’s for sure—Grace has not yet seen her last rodeo on the track.
The news was somewhat announced on Oiselle’s blog:
Kate Grace. Excellence creates opportunity. And brilliance creates more opportunity. It is with bittersweet pride that we cheer on Kate Grace as she flies off with new wings. Kate, our original bird, you brought us with you on your journey: the excitement of first success, the depression and frustration of injury, the silly dances, the starting line facial grimaces, and the most triumphant victories. From goofy to majestically elegant, uncertain to dominant, awkward to powerful, you shared with us the fullest possible range of the human experience. We will never forget. Fast K8, you will always be part of Oiselle’s DNA and family. Thank you, and bon chance. Fly, Kate full of Grace.
We fell in love with Grace even more after she posted this touching tribute to her Oiselle family on Instagram last year: