Source: Manatee County School District

Former and future Olympic athletes set the bar for students to SOAR at Freedom Elementary School, Home of the Falcons. The school’s motto this year is “One Team, One Dream.”

The special guests spoke at a school assembly on Friday, January 12, 2024, about active learning, which encourages students to engage in lessons by thinking, discussing, investigating, and creating.

So, who was in attendance? Head Coach from EVO Athletics, Sam Mikulak, a three-time U.S. Olympic gymnast, high bar champion and bronze medalist; 2020 Olympic gymnast, Shane Wiskus; Stephen Nedoroscik, 2021 World Champion who specializes in the pommel horse; USA Gymnastics’ Alex Diab, the 2023 U.S. still rings bronze medalist; 2023 Pan American Games team and parallel bars champion, Curran Phillips; and 2020 Olympic gymnast, Brody Malone.

The men, ages 31 to 23 years old, shared their own experiences setting goals, overcoming obstacles in life, working as a team, and having fun doing what they love!

“It was so inspirational and motivating for all the students,” said Kenzie Cleveland, Student Support Specialist. “We are so excited to see what the future holds for these athletes.”

The gymnasts currently train in Manatee County, ahead of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Minneapolis this June. Minnesota is the final stop on the journey to the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.

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