Olympic Champions Speak at Manhattan
Jones, who won three medals at the 2012 London Games, began the lecture series by discussing the struggles he's overcome as an African-American swimmer and how he hopes to inspire other minorities to get involved in the sport. Liukin, the all-around gymnastics champion in 2008, talked about growing up as the daughter of two Olympic champions, her success in Beijing and the opportunities it presented, and her motivation for coming back in an attempt to make a second Olympic team this summer.
Pompey, a 1999 Manhattan graduate, has represented Guyana at four Olympics, including the London Games. She and Ryan, the Jaspers' longtime assistant coach who has continued to work with Pompey, spoke together about their shared journey. Remigino won two gold medals at the 1952 Helsinki Games, including the 100 meters, while still a student at Manhattan. He showed a video of his Olympic race, then relayed stories of his time on the track team at Manhattan leading up to the Olympics.
The lecture series concluded with Beard, a seven-time Olympic medalist. Beard won three medals at the 1996 Atlanta Games when she was just 14 years old, and she shared her experience of leaving the sport shortly thereafter before deciding to come back and eventually make three more Olympic teams.Each hour-long lecture started with the athlete's story, followed by a question-and-answer session. Those in attendance were also given the opportunity to meet and take a photo with the Olympians.