by JOE HARAKAL
Tiffin University hosted an event from October 20-25 called Elite Sport and Culture Week. The event included multiple activities in which students, faculty, staff, and anyone who was interested could attend.
Everyone in attendance had the opportunity to interact with several former Olympic and Paralympic athletes, coaches and a member of the International Olympic Committee.
The largest part of Elite Sport and Culture Week was the Festival of Champions, presented in the Heminger Center on Tiffin University’s campus.
The Festival of Champions included the most events of the week and the most Olympic personnel. Some of the interactive events that people could take part in were pictures and autographs, races, soccer, dance lessons, basketball and one-on-one conversations with the Olympians.
Aaron Gonzalez, a baseball player at TU, said he spoke with a few of the Olympic athletes. “They are very nice and down-to-earth people. It seemed like they generally cared about meeting us and were excited to be here,” Gonzalez said.
“The point of this event was to get people involved and have an impact on the children and community,” said Rick Goeb, an assistant professor of sports management at Tiffin University.
Liston Bochette, an Olympic athlete and artist who came to Elite Sport and Culture Week, had a similar thought to Goeb’s when creating some of his art pieces. Bochette’s art was unveiled at another event that anyone had the chance to visit.
Many of the featured athletes attended this event. Along with them were students, faculty, staff, and local community members to view Bochette’s art. The opening of the gallery was Oct. 24.
Twenty pieces of Bochette’s art were on display. All of his art included the Olympic colors, and many of them included children as well.
“The children and babies are a representation of the generation to come,” said Bochette. “Today’s children are tomorrow’s champions.”
"Bochette’s art is amazing," said Lonny Chalfin, a Tiffin resident. “On a scale from 1-10, I would give it a 20. I’ve been flabbergasted by how amazing his work is,"
Bochette’s art is still being featured in the Dianne Kidd Gallery, located on TU’s campus.
Although almost all the events were open to everyone, there was one event that was only open to the student athletes of Tiffin University. This event was the NCAA Substance Abuse presentation, presented by Katie Smith.
“She is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, the highest scorer in women’s professional basketball and head coach for the New York Liberty [a Women’s National Basketball Association team],” said Bonnie Tiell, a sports management professor at Tiffin University.
Smith covered several topics while talking to the student athletes, but focused mainly on anti-doping, honesty and giving back.
“Anti-doping, that is the way it should be,” Smith said. “There is no place for mental, physical or any other type of banned substance in sports. Abuse in sports is huge today, that’s why people created the Safe Sport Movement."
The Safe Sport Movement is a movement to keep sports safe from the illegal use of drugs, sexual harassment and any other concern one may have involving a sport, according to www.safesport.org.
“Honesty plays a crucial role in sports. If you see something, tell someone,” she said. “Be honest with yourself and your teammates to build respect, excellence and friendship.”
Smith finished her speech by covering a topic that played a large part in her morals and that also played a huge role in Elite Sport and Culture Week. Giving back.
“Give back appreciation to the people who sacrificed for you,” Smith said. “Do things that you, your parents and your university will be proud of in years to come.”
Olympic and Paralympic athletes, coaches and member of the IOC who attended Elite Sport and Culture Week were: