Educated Olympians

Written by Annie Rose Stathes, Edited by , for, March 2014

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics ended in a beautiful and celebratory ceremony complete with fireworks, performance, acknowledgment, and of course, the fantastical extinction of the Olympic flame. The games lasted just over two weeks and showcased the world’s finest athletic talent from 88 countries. The Olympics included 7 sports with 15 disciplines and 98 events.

If you’re like many people in the United States, you were deeply inspired by the athletes in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. After all, Olympians are superhuman—they train like mad, cultivating the strength of mind, body, and soul necessary to qualify for and compete in the world’s most beloved and elite athletic event. Perhaps most fascinating of all, they prepare for qualification and competition in the Olympics while still maintaining their everyday lives: they work, they participate in families and socialize with friends, they pursue hobbies and interests, and, remarkably, they even find time to earn college degrees! Indeed, Olympians are some of the most devoted, passionate, and hard-working people in the world. Here’s a list of where eight Olympians from the 2014 Winter Olympics went to school and what they majored in:

olympic skiers with graduate degreesWho: David Chodounsky
Sport: U.S. Ski Team
Hometown: Crested Butte, Colorado
School: Dartmouth College
Major: Earth Sciences, Engineering, and Studio Art
Career: Chodounsky is pursuing a full-time career in ski racing



olympic skaters with graduate degreesWho: Mitchell Islam and Alexandra Paul
Sport: Figure Skating (specifically, Ice Dancing)
Hometowns: Barrie, Ontario and Midhurst, Ontario respectively
School: Oakland University in Oakland County, Michigan
Programs: Dance





olympic ski team members with graduate degreesWho: Torin Koos
Sport: Cross-Country Skiing
Hometown: Minneapolis
School: University of Utah (undergraduate) and Westminster College (graduate)
Major: Koos is working on his master’s in communication





olympic alpine skiers with graduate degreesWho: Andrew Weibrecht
Sport: Alpine Skiing
Hometown: Lake Placid, New York
School: Dartmouth College
Major: Earth Sciences (he’s graduating in 2015!)





olympic hockey players with graduate degreesWho: Gillian Apps
Sport: Women’s Ice Hockey
Hometown: Unionville, Ontario
School: Dartmouth College
Major: Psychology





olympic alpine skiers with graduate degreesWho: Lolo Jones
Sport: Bobsledding
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
School: Louisiana State University
Major: Economics





olympic skaters with graduate degreesWho: Meryl Davis
Sport: Ice Dance
Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan
School: University of Michigan
Major: Cultural Anthropology





olympic alpine skiers with graduate degreesWho: Johnny Quinn
Sport: Bobsledding
Hometown: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
School: University of North Texas
Major: Criminal Justice
Career: Professional Football Player




The next time you feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your plate, remember these Olympians and summon your inner-champion. Push yourself to pull even a little more joy, accomplishment, and success from each of the things to which you devote your time and energy! When it comes to finding great success in life, you too can achieve what seems impossible.


About the Author: Annie Rose Stathes holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Denver. She is currently an instructor of writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado.

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