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Can a Girl Scout be an Olympian?


Submitted by Kristin Coulter

Metro Denver

Denver

Absolutely! Girl Scouts can do anything they set their minds to do. But, what does it take? Hard work. Determination. Support. Sacrifice. Love. These were the themes that Olympian and Girl Scout Janet Culp Redwine shared with the around 40 Daisy to Senior Girl Scouts that gathered this February at Montview Presbyterian Church to hear her speak. The event was organized by Park Hill-based Senior Girl Scout Troop 63573. The troop members, who are working on their Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, wanted to learn from someone who has achieved something that most people can only dream about.

Janet is a Colorado native, and active Girl Scout in elementary school, she even brought her Junior badge-filled vest to prove it, competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, China. She was apart of the 10-member USA synchronized swim team. So how do you get good enough to be selected for an Olympic team?

That is where the hard work, determination, support, sacrifice, and love come in. It actually wasn’t Janet’s dream to be an Olympian. Her dream was to work hard to test herself and improve everyday–and boy did she do it! She shared a video of her team’s jaw dropping Olympic performance. You couldn’t help but be impressed with the athleticism, timing, and pageantry of the team. Synchronized swimmers can’t touch the bottom of the pool during a performance. Sometimes up to three swimmers are stacked one on top of the other in order to achieve high lifts. Olympic pools are around 10 feet deep, so the competitors have to make themselves really small and then really big in order to propel a teammate high out of the water, all without touching the bottom of the pool!

The success of Janet’s Olympic experience wasn’t measured in medals–her team was 5th, but as cliché at it sounds, her success was having the determination and support necessary to be at the top of her sport. The race that she ran was internal. But, she had the support and love of those around her to focus on being the best she could be. Did that mean that she missed fun times with her friends? Yes. Did that mean that she missed family trips in order to practice or compete? Yes. But in return she received the experience of a lifetime and the knowledge that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

This was a powerful message to everyone in attendance, but especially to the Girl Scouts who organized the meeting. These high school girls are on their own journey to earn an honor– the Gold Award. They are on their way but they will need hard work, determination, support, sacrifice and love to make it happen.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

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