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Kristin Armstrong Visits with Students

Going for the Gold and Silver: Conversations with an Olympic Medalist

Kristin Armstrong Chats with College of Education Students

With finals out of the way, College of Education students had an opportunity on Friday, May 14, to celebrate not only the close of the semester, but an Olympic gold medalist.

Taking time out of her busy schedule that led up to her address at spring commencement, alumna and world class cyclist Kristin Armstrong spoke with students in the College about her experiences at the University of Idaho and beyond, and offered some advice.

“It was interesting to hear her speak on a more personal level,” says sports science senior McKenzie Gayfield, of Boise. “It was good to hear someone who graduated with my degree and see what they did with it. It’s not every day you get to hear from someone who won a gold medal.”

Armstrong talked about her early days at the University and after graduation, and how she came to win a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics for cycling. While her dream job changed during her college years, from corporate wellness to physical therapy to working within her community to promote physical fitness, she told students not to stress too much about the future, but take time to figure out what you want to do.

“You have a lot of opportunity when you graduate to really think about what you want to do,” says Armstrong. “Make sure it’s something you want to do; if you’re not happy, it won’t last long.”

She also told students to enjoy their time in school and take advantage of what the University and community have to offer.
Armstrong says college is more than getting an education, it’s about the experience.

“I had a good time here,” says Armstrong. “I had a life, and it was fun.”

And has winning a gold medal changed the woman who graduated from the University of Idaho in 1995? Armstrong says it has changed her life, but not the core of who she is.

“She has real passion; she’s the real thing” says Jerry McMurtry, interim dean of the College.. “I think it’s inspiring for the students to listen to someone who sat in the same classrooms as they are and who has gone on to do so much.”

McMurtry was impressed with Armstrong’s ability to engage students and was appreciative that she made a special effort to talk with students from the College.