March 01, 2010
beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist, Misty May-Treanor, spoke at
St. John’s University as part of the 13th Annual Women in Sports
Day on Saturday, February 27. The day celebrated women’s
achievements in the field of sports and also served as a tremendous
service effort University wide to help a cause that affects so many
women in the world.
View the event photo gallery
The annual dinner, coordinated by Mary Pelkowski, St. John’s
Associate Dean of Student Engagement, began with introductions from
John Kelly (Office of Student Engagement), and a blessing from
Angela Seegel of Campus Ministry. Kim Barnes Arico, St.
John’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach, gave an opening address to
the students and guests in attendance, speaking about how wonderful
it is that women today have the opportunity to get involved with
sports, something she wasn’t familiar with in high school.
Head Women’s Volleyball Coach, Joanne Persico, introduced
May-Treanor, touching upon her numerous accomplishments over the
years, which include two Olympic gold medals in beach volleyball
(2004 and 2008) that she earned with her teammate, Kerri Walsh, as
well as an undefeated streak of 112 straight matches and AVP Team
of the Year honors each year from 2003 to 2008.
“I identify myself as a volleyball player, but more importantly, as
a female athlete,” May-Treanor, who excelled in three sports in
high school, opened up her discussion by saying.
her career, May-Treanor has faced many challenges. Her first
challenge, she shared, was the decision to leave the indoor game of
volleyball and instead pursue a beach volleyball career.
Teaming up with Holly McPeak at the age of 23, May-Treanor would be
traveling the world for the first time as a rookie with little
experience. With only nine tournaments to qualify for the Olympics
in 2000, May-Treanor said, “We told ourselves it was possible and
then focused on us, the team.” The determination landed them a spot
at the Sydney Games.
That same year, May-Treanor faced her next challenge, as her mother
was diagnosed with cancer. After a difficult battle, she
passed away two years later, leaving May-Treanor without one of the
most influential people in her life and her development as a
May-Treanor shared her struggles with injuries throughout her
career, which many of the student-athletes in the audience could
relate to. Throughout her career she has suffered from a torn
PCL, which required surgery to correct, a torn abdominal muscle,
and, in 2008, she had to leave the show “Dancing with the Stars”
because she ruptured her Achilles tendon during practice.
Throughout all of these challenges, May-Treanor said it was her
involvement with athletics as well as the important people in her
life, family, friends, coaches and teammates, that got her through
the difficult times and helped to shape her into the woman and
athlete she is today.
May-Treanor went on to discuss the overall importance that sports
have played in her life. Sports enabled her to have her college
education paid for, allowed her to travel the world and be exposed
to new cultures and it gave her the opportunity to connect with
people all over the world.
her journey, May-Treanor said, she has learned many important
lessons, the same lessons that female student-athletes everywhere
will learn: having discipline, balancing time effectively,
setting goals and making smart decisions. She has discovered
the importance of communication, team work and self-confidence;
however, the most important lesson she says she has learned is to
always have fun with what you do.
May-Treanor is a big proponent of women’s athletics and works
closely with the Women in Sports Foundation, the Special Olympics
and the American Cancer Society. Her goal is to connect with the
youth all over the world and to inspire others to do what they
think is impossible.
She is living proof of what she says, “Anything is possible, and,
if you are willing to work hard and put your heart and soul into
it, it can be done.”
For more information regarding St. John’s University’s Women in
Sports Day contact Mary Pelkowski, Office of Student Engagement, at
718-990-1420. For more information regarding St. John’s visit the
University website at www.stjohns.edu/news.