Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics

Tiny Westminster College is a Powerhouse When it Comes to the Olympics

Apparently there’s something in the water at Westminster College. It could be that, or the fact the college has a partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

westminster college

Either way, the tiny liberal arts school has an impressive 23 students competing in Sochi at the Olympics. For those of you who enjoy statistics, that’s 10 percent of the United States team.

Westminster doesn’t just send athletes to the Olympics; it sends good, medal-winning athletes. In fact, if it were its own country, Westminster would rank in the top 20 for medal count.

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Best Colleges for Training Like an Athlete

skiingWith the 2010 Winter Olympics in full swing, the motivation to get moving and get in shape just like the Team USA athletes is contagiously inspiring.

While it may be too late to capitalize on the Olympic dreams you had when you were eight-years-old, it’s never too late to workout like a professional athlete, even if you’re a busy student.

Here are the top five schools where staying fit is as much a part of the collegiate experience as cramming for finals and paying too much for college textbooks. Just keep in mind that there is no special ranking to this list.

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Olympian Spotlight on Meryl Davis

meryl davisName: Meryl Davis

Competition: Figure Skating

Age: 23

Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

School/University: University of Michigan

Majors: Anthropology and Italian

How she trains: Meryl and her partner, Charlie White, both attend school at the University of Michigan. They have been skating together since 1997, making them the longest-lasting figure skating couple in the country. The two train together at Arctic Edge Figure Skating Club in Canton, Michigan and at Detroit’s Figure Skating Club.

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Olympian Spotlight on Zach Lund

Zach LundName: Zach Lund

Competition: Skeleton

Age: 30

Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah

School/University: Westminster College

Major: Aviation

How he trains: Like any Olympian athlete, Lund is very dedicated to his sport. During the off season, he spends his days in his specialized gym, becoming leaner and stronger than he ever had been before. Zach does daily “torturous workouts” and cools down by riding a stationary bike. He also recently purchased a new, $15,000 sled, which he uses when he is earning first-hand-experience on the slopes.

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Olympian Spotlight on Amanda Evora

amanda evoraName: Amanda Evora

Competition: Figure Skating

Age: 25

Sugar Land, Texas

University of South Florida

Major: Business Administration

How she trains: Amanda and her partner, Mark Ladwig, train together in Ellenton, Florida. To keep themselves in the competitive spirit, they train with another Olympian pair, Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett. Amanda looks to Cirque du Soleil for creative inspiration. Amanda likes to challenge herself every day and has always had a strong “desire to try something difficult” when she is skating, such as a throw triple loop.

How she manages it all: Amanda likes to relieve some of her stress by spending time with people she cares about. She also enjoys playing Guitar Hero, traveling to favorite locations like St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and Oberstdorf, Germany, and by playing with her two cats, Finny and Flower. Amanda is happiest when she is living her life to the fullest; her favorite quote is: “Life is not a problem to solve but a mystery to live,” ~Father Drew.

Fun Fact: Amanda started skating when she was six years old when her father found a pair of hand-me-down ice skates that fit her. In addition to figure skating, Amanda likes to stay in shape by playing soccer and swimming.

Via and

Here are more Olympic athlete spotlights:

View Olympic Athlete Spotlight Slideshow

Olympian Spotlight on Michelle Roark


Olympic athlete Michelle Roark
Olympic athlete Michelle Roark

Name: Michelle Roark

Competition: Freestyle Skiing

Age: 35

Hometown: Denver, CO

School/University: Colorado School of Mines

Major: Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Refining, and Environmental Science

How she trains: Skiing was always a family pastime, so Michelle spent many hours on the slopes near her hometown in Denver, CO when she was growing up.  Michelle now owns a home in Denver and spends many days on the slopes in Denver and in Winter Park, CO. When she isn’t perfecting her perfumes for her new business, you will find Michelle on the slopes, practicing.

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Olympian Spotlight on Graham Watanabe

Olympic athlete Graham Watanabe

Olympic athlete Graham Watanabe

Name: Graham Watanabe

Competition: Snowboarding

Age: 27

Hometown: Hailey, Idaho

School/University: Westminister College

Major: Business

How does Graham Watanabe train:
Graham spends, on average, five days a week training for his sport. Graham spends most days on the slopes, practicing his moves. To keep in top physical shape, he rides a stationary bike, does lunges, and runs uphill on a giant treadmill.

How they manage it all: Graham receives intense support from his family. His father and brother introduced him to the sport when he was young, and it has remained a family sport ever since. 

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Olympian Spotlight on Katie Uhlaender


Olympic athlete Katie Uhlaender

Olympic athlete Katie Uhlaender

Name: Katie Uhlaendar

Competition: Skeleton

Age: 25

Hometown: Breckenridge, Colorado

School/University: Colorado Mountain College


How she trains: Katie spends around eight hours every day training or studying her sport. She combines running, weights, and stretching every day. Before she goes to bed, she often studies past races and new race courses to stay on top of her game.

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