Tiffin University hosts Olympians and Paralympians for Elite Athlete and Culture Week

Tiffin University hosts Olympians and Paralympians for Elite Athlete and Culture Week

TOLEDO (WTOL) - More than two dozen Olympians and Paralympians are visiting Northwest Ohio Tuesday night with a message they are helping future athletes understand.

This week, Tiffin University is holding their first Elite Athlete and Culture Week.

Tiffin University hosts Olympians and Paralympians for Elite Athlete and Culture Week

Local children involved in athletics and their coaches are invited to learn about sportsmanship.

Tuesday night, will hold their festival of champions, where attendees will hear from and get a chance to speak with former Olympians, Paralympians, and coaches.

“Part of their mission as an Olympian is to spread the word about Olympism, really thinking about the values of respect and friendship, and excellence and trying to spread that around,” said Tiffin University professor of Sport Management Bonnie Tiell.

The main message of the event will be to teach younger athletes that sometimes the interactions with fellow competitors can have a bigger impact than success in a game.

“Linked to sportsmanship with the other athletes. So, those are the moments that really stay with the athletes whether it’s a team sport or an individual sport. And those will carry on for generations,” said Sunil Sabharwal, secretary general of the International Fair Play Committee.

And the interactions with actual Olympians could be inspiring a future generation to follow their dreams.

“Anytime I can participate in anything that promotes the Olympic Games, I do. because I think it’s important for kids to understand that I came from a small town in Indiana, that they have a shot at realizing a dream of doing that, and what it means and how it can change your life,” said Wayne Sebold, Olympic Athlete of the 1988 Calgary Winter games.

And along with Olympic athletes sharing stories, one is also sharing his art in Tiffin.

The art exhibit “Olympic Ideals, Images, and Impressions” by former Olypmic athlete Liston {Bow-shet} Bochette will be on display at Tiffin University until mid December.

The artwork is displayed to show that the inspiration of the Olympics can go beyond athletics, and inspire people in other fields as well.

“I think it does a very good job of making sure things can be seen visually but interpreted in a different way. So you have dancers doing things, and you have the music department that may be playing the national anthems from different countries. So I think that this kind of brings everything around full circle," said Joe VanKerkhove, director of the Diane Kidd Art Gallery.

The exhibit will be opened to the public Wednesday night at 5 p.m.

For more information on Tiffin University’s Elite Athlete and Culture Week

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