by MADISON DOSS
Special to The Tystenac
Tiffin University hosted a Sports Talk Presentation that featured two Olympians in the University’s Heminger Center on Wednesday morning. The Olympians who spoke were Katie Smith, all-time leading scorer of women’s professional basketball, and Jan Boutmy, renowned fencing, hall of famer and sportsman.
The presentation was one of many events incorporated into Elite Sport and Culture Week, which ran from October 20-25. Organized by Tiffin University, Terra State Community College, Tiffin Mercy Health and National Machinery, Elite Week showcased Olympians and Paralympians from all over the world.
One of the organizers and professor at Tiffin University, Bonnie Tiell, opened the presentation by discussing the importance of substance abuse and young athletes.
Tiell then introduced Smith and called her to the stage.
Smith said she is from Logan, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University. She said she earned three Olympic gold medals and helped Team USA win two world championships.
She said she retired from the WNBA in 2013 as a seven-time all-star and was named Ohio State’s female athlete of the century.
Smith is now the head coach of WNBA’s New York Liberty.
Smith began her presentation by talking about anti-doping and said she wanted young athletes to take care of themselves and to have equal playing fields.
She then provided a website address, SafeSport.org, as a resource for athletes who are not sure what substances are safe versus not.
Smith said she participated in track and field, volleyball and basketball in high school.
She fell in love with basketball and said she played professionally for 17 years.
Smith presented four core values and their meanings, and said young athletes need those values to be successful. The values were respect, excellence, consistency and determination.
Without those four values, “it is difficult to have good habits that create good days and those good days turn into good weeks and so on,” said Smith.
“How you do anything is how you do everything,” said Smith.
In closing, Smith said her favorite memory from the Olympics was walking in the opening 2000 Olympic ceremony in Sydney, Australia.
After Smith’s closing remarks, Tiell introduced Boutmy and invited him to the stage.
Boutmy is 88 years old and fenced in 10 Olympic Games for the Netherlands, including Tokyo’s in 1964 and Mexico City’s in 1968. He said he also served as a fencing director, judge and director of fencing information desk at the Olympic Village.
Boutmy is the president of the Olympians Netherlands Antilles Association and vice president of PanAmerican Olympians Association, but said he currently lives in Curacao.
Growing up, his first fencing trainer was his father, who helped him learn the game and grow as a fencer, said Boutmy.
Boutmy spoke about his journey through the 10 years of participating in the Olympics. In total, Boutmy he said he won eight medals: four gold, one silver and three bronze.
He also tried different sports growing up like Smith did, but he played soccer, tennis then tried fencing.
The one major thing Boutmy learned while competing is how to respectfully treat the officials because they were a huge factor in how the matches play out.
“Tiffin was honored to have two legends in its presence,” said Tiell.
Post-presentation, Smith said the most important thing she wanted student-athletes to take away from her portion was to follow the four core values and to be present in everything one does.
Rick Goeb was an additional organizer for Elite Week and said the events were going as
planned. Goeb is also a professor at Tiffin University.
Goeb attended the elementary/middle schools which also had some Olympians present speeches.
“The schools’ students and administrations were excited,” said Goeb.
The most challenging aspect of planning Elite Week for Goeb was figuring out all of the logistics such as travel, lodging and schedule, said Goeb.
“This week has been great, and we are looking forward to the rest of events for the week,” said Goeb.