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University Relations

August 29, 2008 Communique

Olympic athletes lead lives as scholars, too

An alumnus and a currently enrolled student at UCCS returned from the 2008 Summer Olympic Games bearing medals.

Matt Emmons, who earned a master of business administration degree in 2006, earned the silver medal in the men’s 50 meter three-position rifle competition. Emmons, a 27-year-old New Jersey native who now calls Colorado Springs home, earned a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics and was an honored guest at a meeting of the CU Board of Regents. He later appeared in a testimonial for the UCCS College of Business.

Adam Wheeler, 27, is a student in the School of Public Affairs. He enrolled at UCCS this summer and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in public administration. Wheeler is also a recruit for the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Wheeler earned a bronze medal in the 96-kilogram class of Greco Roman wrestling, his first. The Lancaster, Calif.-native spent five years in the U.S. Coast Guard and has spent years perfecting his wrestling technique.
“Colorado Springs and its research university are honored to be represented in world-class competition,” UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said. “I congratulate Matt and Adam as well as their teammates for their efforts.”

Emmons and Wheeler were joined by 10 other students who combine life as Olympians with that of a college student. The State of Colorado provides Olympic athletes who train in Colorado Springs with in-state tuition rates at UCCS. Each year, approximately 30 Olympic hopefuls enroll.

Members of the 2008 U.S. Summer Olympic Team who have attended UCCS since 2005, their sports and hometowns are:

  • Jaime Beyerle, shooting, Lebanon, Pa.
  • Casey Burgener, weightlifting, Bonsall, Calif.
  • Clarissa Chun, wrestling, Kapolei, Hawaii
  • David Durante, gymnastics, Garwood, N.J.
  • Carissa Gump, weightlifting, Essex Junction, Vt.
  • Jeffrey Holguin, shooting, Yorba Linda, Calif.
  • Ryan Reser, judo, Denver
  • Rebecca “Beki” Snyder, shooting, Grand Junction. Snyder earned a bachelor of science in business in May 2007
  • Taylor Takata, judo, Wahiawa, Hawaii
  • Marcie Van Dusen, wrestling, Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
  • Natalie Woolfolk, weightlifting, Buffalo, Okla.


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