Sunday, July 24, 2016

Warrior IG

I have always been very proud to have earned the title of Olympian.  It is an honor and something I have taken very seriously.  I believe an Olympian must carry themselves a certain way and continue to live life embodying the Olympic ideals even beyond sport.  I represented my country and I find it important to continue to make my supporters proud of the person I have become.  I have tried to live my life with integrity, respecting the Olympic Rings and the Olympic movement.  

Many athletes have done everything right, trained hard, lived a life of honesty and purity, but are not recognized.  My teammate Irene Gardner is someone that embodies an Olympian.  She is a warrior.  Although she was left off the Olympic roster, Irene has done everything she can to help USA Rugby and our team be as prepared for Rio as possible. 

She is selfless, pushes her teammates to be their best and continues to be a sounding board.  Irene is one the most determined hard working people I know and is completely deserving of being celebrated.  Her work ethic is impressive, but what separates her is the size of her heart.   Irene may be small in stature, but has a huge heart.  She is kind and giving and has an unprecedented ability to make the people around her better.   It takes a special person to push aside personal disappointment for the benefit of the team.  To me, Irene represents the foundation of what the Olympic Games is built upon.  Because of this, in my eyes, Irene is an Olympian.  I will always look up to her as an athlete, but more importantly for how she presents herself.