Brandi Chastain’s gift to Team USA 2014 Olympian figure skater Polina Edmunds
Posted February 1, 2014 by Alforde Joaquin in
GetSportsFocus.com — Early Friday morning — students, faculty, parents, and media from all over gathered for a send off assembly for 15 year-old sophomore, Polina Edmunds, as she prepares to leave for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Edmunds started skating at just 20 months old, and at the age of 4 — she started being coached by David Glenn, who is still coaching her today at age 15. Along with Glenn, her mother — a Russia native — helps coach Polina. Edmunds is a humble and quiet young lady that shines bright on the ice. Mitty’s media coordinator, JT Hanley, said this is a unique situation because most athletes have been in the lime light for a long time, however, most people did not know this 15 year old was a competitive figure skater — let alone, becoming an Olympic athlete until she qualified within the last few weeks.
This Santa Clara native attends Archbishop Mitty High School that has also been home to famous gold medalists such as Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brandi Chastain. Her fellow peers and teachers decided the best way to send her off would be in a Mitty style assembly to show her their support. However, I do not think there was any way to prepare for the magnitude of excitement the Mitty student body brought to the gym on Friday morning.
Mitty prides itself on being committed to excellence, and this send off assembly was a bliss of pure perfection. Former gold medal Olympians and Mitty alumni, Brandi Chastain and Kerri Walsh Jennings took the stage to give some words of advice to Polina while the gym full of people listened and watched in awe.
Both Chastain and Walsh Jennings said they have never had a crowd make them feel so special and that this will be something they will remember forever. Chastain compared speaking at the assembly to throwing out the first pitch for Yankees — she said her heart was pounding more at the assembly than it was at Yankee Stadium. Former soccer gold medalist explained how proud she was to see a young female following her dreams and wished her good luck and quickly followed with, “… Better yet, be fearless.” Walsh Jennings showed tears of joy as the student body cheered ever so loud and gave her a warm welcome back into the Mitty family. The beach volleyball Olympian and three-time gold medalist has been one of Edmunds biggest inspirations and it was a dream come true just that Polina got to meet her idol. Walsh Jennings describes going to the Olympics as priceless and life-changing and she could not be happier for young Polina.
This is not any ordinary 15 year old, Polina Edmunds became an overnight hero and as Chastain said, “Look around — greatness is right next to you!” That is the ultimate truth being in a gym full of rich history for the Mitty Monarch family.
GetSportsFocus would like to wish Polina the best of luck this February as she competes in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Polina, you are not only making the Bay Area proud, but you are wearing the red, white, and blue to represent the U.S. on the biggest stage.
GetSportsFocus (GSF) is an independent media organization based in the Bay Area with a mission to recognize student athletes and give opportunities to young aspiring journalists to perfect their craft in sports journalism.