It was a different sort of assembly for the middle school students of the Bellwood Antis School District. The young teens who nearly filled the high school auditorium listened to a presentation from Rulon Gardner, an Olympic champion who won a gold medal in wrestling in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
His message for the students is a simple one, that there is not a challenge that is too tough, not an obstacle that is out there that the students can't over come. He told his audience the key to accomplishing their goals is to believe in themselves.
Because Gardner focused not only on his successes, but the challenges he has faced, some of the students said the message really hit home for them. The appearance by Garner was part of a long term effort to make sure the students have the life skills they need. Gardner's basic theme of inspiring the students to always try seems to be taking hold. From the way he was mobbed after the assembly, its clear Gardner relates well to the young students.
This Olympic Champion is also scheduled to be the guest speaker at the Community Classic Dinner and Benefit Auction in Altoona this weekend. The Saturday Evening Event at the Bavarian Hall is organized by the Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission.