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03-07-2006


Discipline and Strength Displayed in College Athlete

 


Williamsburg, Ky. - Discipline is displayed early in the morning, everyday. Vanity Vazquez-Olmo is up and ready to meet either the track or wrestling team for 6:15 a.m. practices. Then the day brings classes, studying, and homework. Just about the time most take time for an afternoon nap, Vazquez is off to 3:30 p.m. track practice. From there, Vazquez-Olmo stops for dinner just before scheduled wrestling practice at 6 p.m.

This would be impressive all on its own, but Vazquez-Olmo, a freshman at University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, accomplished all of this while her husband Angel Olmo served in Iraq. It would seem easy to be distracted by all the time demands as well as worry for her husband's safety, but Vazquez-Olmo got the job done. There was rarely a moment when Vazquez-Olmo wasn’t displaying strength of mind and body, commitment and determination.

“I’ve had to take it a day at a time,” she said.

With Angel Olmo already six months into deployment, the couple wed on July 8, 2005, during a two week leave from service. The pair had minimal time to see each other since the wedding. During his deployment, the two kept in communication by phone.

“[Angel] worked in communications, so he always snuck me phone calls,” she said.

It would be easy to feel overwhelmed by such an intimidating schedule and constant concern for her husband, but Vazquez-Olmo’s revealed her source of strength, “School and sports keep me busy and on my down time [Angel] called me. That’s how I got through.”

In January, Vazquez-Olmo received a call she would never forget. After serving a full year in Iraq, she received word that her husband was coming home. The excitement of his return was soon stalled by several flight delays. Vazquez-Olmo’s frustration was shared by her husband’s.

“[Angel] was so excited to be home but he would get so upset when they delayed him,” she said.

Finally, after the delays and days of anticipation, Vazquez-Olmo was reunited with her husband for the first time in months. Her school and sport schedule remain as hectic as ever but Vazquez-Olmo couldn’t be more pleased. "He is home, and I am so, so, so happy!" she said.

Vazquez-Olmo’s hard work is paying off. Besides finishing her first semester with an impressive 3.7 GPA, good enough to make Cumberlands’ Dean’s list, Vazquez-Olmo has also helped her 3200-meter relay team qualify for the NAIA national track meet to be held on Thursday, March 9th – Saturday, March 11th in Johnson City, Tenn. Although such success tends to add pressure for future achievement, this disciplined freshman is continuing to take it all in stride.

“My goal is to do what I can to keep this positive momentum going in both my classes, running and wrestling,” she said.

University of the Cumberlands is in its 117th year of operation. Cumberlands offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs, as well as online and accelerated, non-traditional programs for adults.