TU prepares to host Olympians in October

Tiffin University is preparing its campus and the city for the arrival of Olympians this fall during the Elite Sport and Culture Week.

Olympians are to be on the TU campus Oct. 20-25 and spend time throughout the community.

The week is to feature world-class athletes and coaches from the Olympics and Paralympics.

According to Bonnie Tiell, professor at TU, activities are to include the Festival of Champions and International Fair Play Awards; school visits from Olympians and affiliates; a Youth Games and Medal Ceremony; and an art exhibit and Good Morning World, featuring a panel of Olympians and a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which will address the past, present and future of the Games.

Tiell said although the week is months off, there will be events in advance, including the 3-Pillar Challenge now through September. Also, an Olympian is to serve as grand marshal for the Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival Parade Sept. 15.

The 3-Pillar Challenge program is to take place at Tiffin Community YMCA, Tiffin Art Guild and Gallery and Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.

The program is for students in kindergarten through six grade. Those who complete all three pillars would be among the first 600 to attend the Festival of Champions at TU Oct. 23.

The program includes:

• The Sport Pillar is to take place at Tiffin Community YMCA, 180 Summit St., and includes participating in a minimum of three fitness classes to be available for non-members. Classes are 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through August.

• The Culture Pillar is to take place at two sites. At Tiffin Art Guild, 130 S. Washington St., participants can make an Olympic-themed art project 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 21. At Tiffin-Seneca Public Library, 77 Jefferson St., participants can view the Olympics display and complete an Olympic-themed activity Aug. 6-Aug. 31.

• The Education Pillar is to take place at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library and include visiting the Olympics display and participating in an Olympic-themed reading and/or writing program Aug. 6-Aug. 31.

“This has been my labor of love,” Tiell said of the week of events. “It has been a challenge but awesome to put together.”

Athletes to be featured during the week in October include Liston Bochette of Puerto Rico, a bobsledder who carried a flag in the 1992 Olympics; Katie Smith, three-time gold medalist with U.S. women’s basketball; Butch Reynolds of the U.S., a track and field athlete who has received a gold and a silver medal in the 400 meters; Aliann Pompey of Guyana, a sprinter who has participated in four Summer Olympics; Peggy Ewald of the U.S., a Paralympics swimming coach; Mary Wineberg of the U.S., a gold medalist in track and field; Gary Morgan of the U.S., a race walker; Amanda Everlove of the U.S., who won three silver medals in Paralympic swimming; Wayne Seybold of the U.S., a former figure skater; and Mathew Mitten of the U.S., with the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

“Everyone will have an interest, young and old,” Tiell said.

For a schedule of Elite Week events and more information, visit


For information about the 3-Pillar Challenge program, contact Bonnie Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu.