Valmon Mentoring Olympic Hopefuls

Sept. 18, 2007

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland track and field head coach Andrew Valmon was recently part of a prestigious 10-member panel of Olympic Ambassadors selected to guide prospective U.S. Olympians through their experiences.

Valmon joined such stars as swimmer John Naber, soccer player Brandi Chastain, wrestler Rulon Gardner and gymnast Peter Vidmar at a two-day seminar held in Herndon, Va. The event was sponsored and developed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

"It is really an honor to be a part of this group of Olympians with their great accomplishments," said Valmon. "They are responsible for some of the most memorable moments in U.S. Olympic team history. If we have anything to do with helping this next generation of Olympians accomplish their goals next summer in Beijing, that would be yet another amazing Olympic experience for me."

The seminar was designed to give upcoming and prospective participants ideas regarding their experiences and expectations as potential Olympians. Areas discussed included working with the media, cultural awareness of the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing, China and the athletes' various roles as a representative of the U.S., and the Olympic movement.

As an ambassador, Valmon was asked to be a potential mentor and facilitator for Olympic hopefuls.

"I really enjoy continuing to be involved with the USOC even though my own competitive career is over," Valmon said. "I appreciate the support the USOC gave me when I was training for the Games so I'm happy to reach my hand back and do what I can to help those coming along.

"I especially appreciate the chance to get to know the next Olympic stars before they have their time in the spotlight. My experiences as an Olympian have changed my life in so many amazing ways, so it is extremely gratifying to have an opportunity to give back to the Olympic movement in this way."

Valmon, who is in his fifth season as the Terrapins' head coach, won gold medals as part of the U.S. 4x400-meter relay teams at both the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games.