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Olympic Athletes Shatter the Myth That Sports is More Brawn Than Brains

Angela Baden

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It used to be that sports was just for so-called jocks that did not do well in school.  The 2008 Beijing Olympics athletes show that is not true.

The Olympic Charter states: Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. So Olympism focuses itself on education for the athletes and as a model and example for others to emulate.  The following US athletes represent only a handful of the many Olympic athletes with outstanding educational credentials and as exceptional role models.  

Amy Rodriguez, Soccer: was a member of the honor roll in High School and a Model United Nations Delegate

David Berkoff, Swimming: a Harvard senior with a 3.0 grade-point average in anthropology

Shawn Johnson, Gymnastics: finished her sophomore year of high school a few weeks ago with a straight A average.

Anna Tunnicliffe, Olympic Sailing: Graduated from college with a 3.73 grade-point average, a double major in accounting and decision sciences and a minor in music performance.

Javier Molina, Boxing: student at John Glenn High School has all honors classes and a 3.8 grade point average

Sanya Richards, Track and Field: Member of the National Honor society, ending her high school academic career with a 4.0 grade point average. In 2002 she was named National High School Female Athlete of the Year, USA Track and Field Youth Athlete of the Year and Track and Field News Women's Prep Athlete of the Year. Sanya attended the University of Texas where she studied Engineering

Jason Rogers, Fencing: Was a Brentwood Scholar with a 3.6 Grade Point Average during grades nine through 12. . . Won the Bank of America Math and Science Award, which is awarded to the top all-around math/science student during his/her senior year. . . Graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Ohio State University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. . Was a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist in 2005. . . Was named a first team All-American three times while at Ohio State; also was a three-time bronze medalist. . . Was awarded the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor, the top academic/athletic honor for Ohio State graduating seniors. . . Was named a two-time Academic All-American

Nancilea Foster, Diving: Two-time Academic All-American and three-time Academic All-Big Ten

Rachel Dawson, Field Hockey: Graduated with distinction in December of 2007 Majored in business at UNC, earning Deans List honors

Eric Shanteau, Swimming: Named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll

Natalie Coughlin, Swimming: Graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a psychology degree and carried a 3.5 grade-point average

James Blake, tennis:  Attended Harvard University

Jamie Beyerle, Team USA Shooting, is a member of the National Honor Society

Bernard Lagat has earned two degrees from Washington State University in Pullman; one in management information systems (2000) and one in decision science (2001)

To learn more about the Olympics and Olympic athletes Click here


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