There’s a select number of people in this world that make it to the Olympics, and an even smaller crowd that make it to the medals podium. A lot can be said about the extreme discipline involved in training for such physically and emotionally strenuous events. And for those that are gifted enough to win gold in their teens, is the right path following tradition and going on to college, or welcoming fame with open arms?
It’s in a way the same type of dilemma young movie stars face. News outlets publicize when an actor goes to school, but it’s rare when this is the path chosen. Yes, college is a life choice, and if it’s the path you choose 100% of yourself is typically required. Olympians are perceived as “stars,” and when they’re under the limelight their decisions become a topic of interest or controversy.
So, what great lesson have you taken away from the Olympics? For me, it was that some people still see college as the next logical step in progression. Take for example U.S.A. swimmer Missy Franklin. She’s an Olympic gold metalist four times over, yet she turned down close to $2 million in endorsement deals to go to school. As a 17 year old, that’s a typical response, but from someone with a bright future and a potentially cushy bank account it’s very unexpected. Other sources, and athletes, are supporting her decision because they feel like it gives her something to fall back on after her career in swimming is over.
Whether you think she made the right decision or not, she sets a great example for those that believe higher education is a rich and rewarding experience. Hopefully we’ll be seeing her compete in the NCAA in 2013.
By J. Mason