Though I’m not a sports fan, I don’t watch them nor follow them, but I lived in Knoxville for over ten years and had the good fortune to work in the Athletics Department and attend UTK for a time. I’m originally from the awesome state of Tennessee and UTK’s spirit is like none other I’ve ever witnessed. You don’t have to be a sports fan to admire that kind of team spirit.
There are those individuals that truly make a difference in peoples’ lives and their dedication to the work they love shines through and spreads out in all directions. I think Pat Summitt is one of those kind souls, deserving of a fond farewell and a heartfelt thank you for personifying the definition of a true professional and altruistic person.
From her bio:
Every Lady Vol who has completed her eligibility at UT has received her degree or is in the process of completing her degree requirements. Summitt instills a pattern of success in her players and constantly challenges them to reach their potential as a student and an athlete.
Ms. Summitt announced several months ago she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and since then has become an advocate and spokesperson for creating awareness about the disease. She stepped down as coach for the Lady Vols this week. According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, she’ll receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this year. Read more here.
The New York Times describes her as a legend. I think most agree with that. So, I’ll end this with — Thanks, Coach Summitt for not only representing the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to the nth degree for premium athletics, but for positively affecting the lives of young women and students for decades.