USOEC Athletes Thank Bart Stupak

Last year, many people were pleased to see Congressman Bart Stupak leave Washington.

But some in the U.P. don’t want his efforts to be forgotten.

That second group includes athletes at the U.S. Olympic Education Center.

They want to thank Stupak for his work.

Anthony Lobello is a short-track speedskater who competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

He says Marquette has been a great place to live and train, and he says there’s nowhere else he’d rather be to get ready for competition.

Lobello is one of many USOEC athletes who want to salute Stupak for his support of the program over the years.

Short-track speedskater Kimberly Derrick competed at the Vancouver Winter Games last year.

Derrick says the opportunity to excel in both higher education and her sport at the USOEC can’t be beat.

The program has been a life-changing experience for boxer Ricky Alvarez and his teammates.

He says it’s Stupak’s work for the center that allows them all to chase their dreams.

USOEC weightlifter Allie Henry says she’s improved dramatically in her sport in her four semesters in Marquette and the coaching has been outstanding.

For Greco-Roman wrestler Mark Stenberg, it’s comments he hears from friends and former coaches back home that keep him going — comments that they wish they were doing what he’s doing.

Mikaela Mayer says before she came to the USOEC to box and study, she was in school but training outside of school while also needing to work, and that the program has dramatically improved her chances of reaching the Olympic level one day.

Weightlifter Steve Jarvis says the USOEC experience is totally unique and he’d love to thank Bart Stupak for his role in making it happen.

Stupak was probably the #1 supporter in Congress of the scholarship program that allows athletes to come to the USOEC.

So in turn, Congress named the scholarship program after Stupak’s late son, B.J. Stupak, who passed away in 2000.

How much does the center mean to Stupak?

When he held his news conference last year to say he wouldn’t run for another term in Congress, he held that news conference at the USOEC.