Olympian Speaks to Students

Students at Cochran Elementary School in Williamsport got to meet one of the best athletes in the country Monday.

Suzanne Stettinius is one of two American women who will participate in the pentathlon in this year’s Olympic games.

Stettinius is not your average 24 year old. She is a world-class athlete who is getting ready to compete in the 2012 Olympic games in London.

“I train in the morning, go to class, train in between and after classes, go home, eat, sleep,” Stettinius said.

She was born and raised in Maryland, but most of her family lives in Williamsport. That’s where she spoke to students at Cochran Elementary, a school named after her great-great-great-grandfather.

Modern pentathlon consists of five sports: running, shooting, fencing, horseback riding and swimming. Stettinius competes all over the world, including two events that she almost skipped.

“I was gold and silver at these events that I didn’t think mattered, but they ended up saving me and I ended up making the Olympic team because of them. I almost didn’t go because they weren’t big competitions, but I’m glad I did now,” Stettinius said.

She added it wasn’t an easy road to make it to the Olympic games. Last year she broke her neck and her collar bone and earlier this year she pulled a hamstring, but she is still one of two women going to London.

Stettinius let some of the students at Cochran Elementary try on her uniforms. She also signed some autographs.

“I like when she showed the gun, how they do the laser,” said fourth grader Talia Lewis.

“It was when she told us about the fencing because I like to fence,”said fourth grader Aykeem Connelly.

“What do you think would be the hardest part of the pentathlon? Probably the horse riding, because you never met the horse before and you don’t know what is going to happen,” said fourth grader Emily Smith.

The pentathlon is one of the final events of the 2012 Olympic games in London.

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