By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
Even though they have all but been immortalized for their gold medal victories in the Olympics, 11 time Olympic medal winner Ryan Lochte and Misty May-Treanor, three-time Olympic gold medalist, said they were reminded of how precious life was when they heard the news of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, which killed three and injured more than 140.
“My heart went out to the victims,” Treanor said to the audience gathered inside the Ferguson Auditorium on April 16. Treanor and Lochte came to speak as part of the William L. Mayo Prestigious Speakers Series at Texas A&M University-Commerce. “It was a senseless act. Our world is turning into a crazy, crazy place.”
Lochte echoed her sentiment, and added he was confused as to why someone would want to bomb such an event.
“Why, why would someone want to hurt people?” He said. “It’s a tragedy that people would go that low.”
Having competed on the biggest stage in the world multiple times, both athletes said it not only took hard work and dedication, but a mentor to look to for guidance that helped them toward their goals.
For Lochte it was his dad, who he said was his first swimming coach and has been there for him his entire life; and watching Pablo Morales swim in the 1992 Olympics.
“Just watching him being such a good sportsmanship,” he said.
Treanor said she was reminded of her dad always telling her that there were a lot of people who would love to have the chance to not only play volleyball, but also to walk or do other daily tasks that are taken for granted.
“My dad told me to play for those who can’t,” she said. “Look on the bright side and keep moving.”
Missing out on prom, saying no to movie nights with friends constantly and having no spring breaks were the norm for the two athletes because of their rigorous training growing up.
But both athletes said those weren’t sacrifices they made, they both made the conscience decision to choose to train.
After years of five to six hour practice six days a week, and giving so much determination toward winning the gold medal, Treanor said just being able to compete for her country is what she will always remember.
“Opening ceremonies gets your adrenaline going,” she said. “It’s a surreal moment.”
Sanya Richards Ross was unable to attend the event due to the American Airlines systems malfunction earlier the day on April 16.