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The Road To Gold

Olympian Janet Redwine Inspires Troop 3573

Story and photo by Kristin Coulter

Girl Scout Troop 3573

From left to right: Ellie McWhirter, Lucy Francone, 2008 Olympian Janet Redwine, Micaiah Salazar, Fiona Goe, and Lily Lowe.

Members of Park Hill Girl Scout Troop 3573 are working on their Gold Award, which is the highest individual honor a Girl Scout can earn. So the troop members decided to learn from someone who knows about high achievement: an Olympian.

Hard work. Determination. Support. Sacrifice. Love. These were the themes that Olympian and Girl Scout Janet Culp Redwine shared with about 40 Daisy-to-Senior Girl Scouts that gathered this Olympic season at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church to hear her speak.

Redwine is a Colorado native. An active Girl Scout in elementary school, she even brought her Junior badge-filled vest to prove it. She went on to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, part of the 10-member USA synchronized swim team.

So how do you get good enough to be selected for an Olympic team?

That is where the hard work, determination, support, sacrifice and love come in. It actually wasn’t Redwine’s dream to be an Olympian. Her dream was to work hard to test herself and improve everyday – and boy did she do it! She shared a video of her team’s jaw dropping Olympic performance.

You couldn’t help but be impressed with the athleticism, timing and pageantry of the team. Synchronized swimmers can’t touch the bottom of the pool during a performance. Sometimes up to three swimmers are stacked one on top of the other in order to achieve high lifts. Olympic pools are around 10 feet deep, so the competitors have to make themselves really small and then really big in order to propel a teammate high out of the water, all without touching the bottom of the pool.

The success of Redwine’s Olympic experience wasn’t measured in medals; her team finished fifth. But as cliché at it sounds, her success was having the determination and support necessary to be at the top of her sport.

The race that Redwine ran was internal. But she had the support and love of those around her to focus on being the best she could be. Did that mean that she missed fun times with her friends? Yes. Did that mean that she missed family trips in order to practice or compete? Yes. But in return she received the experience of a lifetime and the knowledge that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

This was a powerful message to everyone in attendance but especially to the Girl Scouts who organized the meeting. These high school girls are on their own journey to earn individual Gold Awards. They are on their way but they will need hard work, determination, support, sacrifice and love to make it happen.

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