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Olympic Medalist Manteo Mitchell runs inaugural lap on school’s new track

posted Feb 18, 2016, 11:21 AM by Greg Shull   [ updated Feb 18, 2016, 3:05 PM ]
Union Elementary held a well-attended dedication ceremony for the unveiling of the school’s new Marvin and Kitty Hoyle Track. Olympian Manteo Mitchell, a former Union Elementary student, inaugurated the event by running the first official lap on the track alongside the Union Elementary Running Club.

Modestly attempting to “catch his breath” after the lap, Mr. Mitchell spoke to the audience about his experience stating:

“To be able to have a platform where I can inspire not only little kids, but adults older than me, and people my age, it’s more than just running to me,” Said Mitchell. I’m not sitting down on my blessing. I am very grateful to be in a position I am in to do this and have fun with it.”

Mitchell added, “I encourage you guys to believe in yourself, have faith, focus on your task, and to finish anything you start.”

Mr. Mitchell also attended Boiling Springs Elementary, Crest Middle, and Crest High School. He then went on to Western Carolina University where he broke numerous school records. Mitchell competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London in the 4x400 relay where, despite suffering a broken leg, he continued running and helped Team USA to fastest prelims time ever on record in the event at the Olympic Games.

City of Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony presented Mr. Mitchell with a key to the city and a proclamation naming February 17, 2016, as “Manteo Mitchell Day” for surrounding area.

Dr. Stephen Fisher, the superintendent of Cleveland County Schools, added, “I appreciate your [Mitchell] willingness to come back to our community to challenging young people to be the best they can be.”

The event concluded with Mr. Mitchell leading the entire school around the track followed by a huge group pic with our inspiring Olympian.

“This was an awesome experience for Union Elementary, one that will go down in the history books,” said Pam Merritt, principal at Union Elementary. “We appreciate Manteo’s willingness to come back and share his powerful message with our students.”