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Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle

Who really won the gold at the Olympics? Catholic education

USA's Katie Ledecky poses on the podium with her gold medal after she won the Women's 200m Freestyle Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Odd Andersen

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/14/16

One of the great untold stories of the Rio Olympics, from Catholic News Agency: 

Katie Ledecky, Lia Neal, and Anabelle Smith are some names you might hear on television if you are watching the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year. These Olympians have all won medals in the 2016 games, but they are also united by another common factor: their Catholic education. Sacred Heart Schools, founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, boasts of a network of over 145 Catholic schools across the globe that have been teaching for over two hundred years. These schools are also responsible for producing nine Olympic athletes who are competing at Rio this year.

Related: Learning to love God thanks to an Olympic hero

“Our athletes recognize that their gifts comes from God and are not to be wasted,” the school’s communications director Donna Heckler told CNA. “They are taught to take personal responsibility for themselves while being self-disciplined in their efforts,” she said. After the first two days of competition, the Sacred Heart Olympians won four medals in Rio. Their alumnae are from four different countries, and include Katie Ledecky, Lia Neal, Anabelle Smith, KK Clark, Mary Joe Fenandez, Gaby Lopez, Gabi Nance, Erin Rafuse, and Denise Sheldon. So, what’s their secret to producing all-stars? While Heckler noted that they have no secret to producing Olympians, she did say that the school “does have a secret to producing amazing people. That secret is seen in the five Goals and Criteria of the Sacred Heart Schools that bind the schools together.”

Read on.

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