Athletics News

GW Strength and Conditioning Hosts Women's Athlete Symposium

Olympic bronze medalist and softball alum Elana Meyers spoke to GW's female student-athletes about embracing their bodies.

March 20, 2013

WASHINGTON - The George Washington University's Strength and Conditioning team presented the first Women's Athlete Symposium on Monday evening at the Charles E. Smith Center. All of GW's female student-athletes were invited to learn from three knowledgeable guest speakers, each of whom included an interactive component to their presentations.

Stephanie Wilson, Head of Nutrition for IMG Academy, helped attendees understand that nutrition is not the same for everyone - each sport has different goals. Wilson gathered team captains in an exercise to test how well the student-athletes understood sport-specific nutritional demands.

Elana Meyers, a former GW softball player and Olympic bronze medalist in bobsled, stripped down to her bobsled uniform while explaining how to appreciate and embrace the body of a female athlete. Meyers called upon two of GW's strongest female athletes to push weighted sleds across the Smith Center floor in a simulation of a bobsled push. The demonstration made clear the importance of strength as an elite female athlete.

Dr. Amanda Visek, an expert in sports psychology, outlined an effective way to set and achieve goals. Dr. Visek gave each attendee an outline for goal-setting and used smart phone technology to engage the student-athletes in a real-life example of how unexpected obstacles may arise.

The student-athletes in attendance valued the information presented throughout the night.

"The event was very informative," said rowing sophomore Elaine Murphy. "I thought the nutrition segment was the most important part, something that all of us can benefit from."

The opportunity to meet an Olympic medalist was a highlight for many of GW's female athletes.

"Elana Meyers really summed up everything we learned during the night," said junior softball player Chelsea Curcio. "She told us about her life after GW, becoming an Olympic bronze medalist, how she fuels her body, setting both long- and short-term goals and loving every aspect of herself. That's the kind of person I want to look up to."

The three speakers came together at the end of the evening as a panel to field questions from student-athletes and coaches. The panelists took advantage of the event by learning more about the growing Department of Athletics and Recreation and upcoming projects improving GW Athletics.

"I'm excited to see what Ben Kenyon (Assistant Athletics Director for Strength and Conditioning) and Patrick Nero (Director of Athletics and Recreation) have in store for the student-athletes," said Meyers. "Their dedication to the different aspects of sport is inspiring. I'm excited to be a Colonial."