As the 2016 Summer Olympics came to a close in Rio de Janeiro, the 554 Olympic athletes representing the United States were finally able to take a brief respite and enjoy their time at home. Five of these incredible athletes are welcomed back to Eastern’s very own Philadelphia area, medals in hand.
Kyle Lowry returns to his birthplace and hometown of Philadelphia after winning a gold medal for Team USA as a point guard in the Olympic Men’s basketball tournament. Lowry, a Villanova alumnus, was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2006 and then traded to the Toronto Raptors before being invited to join the 2016 U.S. Men’s Basketball team. Glenn Ochal is another Olympic athlete who calls Philadelphia home. Ochal is a member of the U.S. Rowing team, and competed in the 2012 London Olympics where he won a bronze medal in the Men’s four event. In this summer’s Olympic Games, Ochal and the rest of the U.S. Men’s team came in fourth in the Men’s coxed eight event.
Philadelphia is also the beloved birthplace and training ground of three track and field superstars: Nia Ali, Taylor Ellis-Watson and Ajeé Wilson. Ali won a silver medal for the 100-meter hurdle event, despite taking a year off of competing to give birth to her son Titus. She is one of 10 impressive mothers on the U.S. Olympic team. Ellis-Watson was born and raised in Philadelphia and competed in the Rio 2016 4 x 400 meter relay where she and the U.S. Women’s team won gold, beating Jamaica and Great Britain. Wilson is a Philadelphian at heart, despite currently living in Neptune, N.J. Wilson, who was born in Philadelphia, attends Temple University in Center City. In the Rio Finals, Wilson competed in the Women’s 800 meter, and she came in first in the semifinals and seventh in the finals.
Eastern students and all others who call the Philadelphia area home can proudly welcome back the U.S. Olympic athletes and pray for them to find rest and refreshment after a rigorous season of training and competing.
Sources: ncbolympics.com, olympicchanne.com