Balancing college and Olympic dreams: One athlete’s story

(BPT) – Between grueling training sessions, travel for competitions, personal life and family obligations, how does a leading athlete excel in their sport and manage college at the same time? Adeline Gray, a three-time world champion for Team USA in Women’s Wrestling, has not only been realizing her dreams in the gym, but also in the classroom. This year Adeline accomplished two of her biggest goals-graduating with a bachelor’s degree and making her first U.S. Olympic team.

For athletes to get to the elite level, it takes relentless drive and enormous effort-and a strong dose of confidence, too. But Gray’s education was also important to her. She moved into the U.S. Olympic training facility in 2009 and entered college, but soon she found she was missing too many classes and needed more options and support.

Attending a traditional university could not give Gray the flexibility and support she needed in order to balance a busy training schedule with her studies. She was having difficulties getting the teachers to work around her travel and didn’t feel they were equipped to handle her unique situation. Gray transferred to DeVry University while training for the 2016 Olympic Games and graduated with a business degree with a specialization in project management in 2016.

“The DeVry professors immediately understood the support I needed and the university’s study options are ideal for an Olympic athlete’s lifestyle,” Gray says. “To have DeVry in my corner supporting me, not just my education, and also supporting my athletic dreams has been amazing.”

DeVry University professors know the demands faced by students with busy lives and big dreams, every day, and understand the difference an extensive student support system and flexible learning options can make.

Making a Powerful Difference in the Lives of U.S. Olympic Student Athletes

When Adeline Gray was a young girl, women’s wrestling was far from mainstream, so her main opportunities to develop her skills came from wrestling against boys. Once opportunities within women’s wrestling expanded, so did Adeline’s dream of becoming one of the best in the world.

Like so many students at DeVry, Gray is powered from inside by her talents, interests and ambitions to become her best self. At the same time, she also finds reasons to succeed all around her-in the voices of loved ones, the attention of teachers, rewarding paths to the future and worthy challenges to overcome.

As Gray sets her sights on winning gold in Rio in August, she has peace of mind knowing that she already has a head start on her post-athletic career now that she has earned her degree from DeVry.

“I can’t wrestle forever, and I need an education,” Gray says. “To have that check mark next to my degree is a great feeling.”

An official education provider for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), DeVry University supports student athletes who balance a fierce dedication to their sports as they navigate the path to their degrees, preparing for the possibilities to come beyond their athletic successes. The level of care and flexibility offered to all students at DeVry makes a powerful difference to Team USA student athletes who are working towards achieving their education goals as they pursue their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.

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