Olympic athlete visits Bethel Elementary

By Carrie Sutton | Oct 07, 2016
2012 Olympic athlete Lauren Tamayo discusses her experiences competing in the London games. Students who participated in the school's summer reading program were surprised by Tamayo at a reading celebration.

A local Olympic silver medalist visited Bethel Elementary School to inspire students and share her love learning.

Lauren Tamayo, an Asheville resident, won a silver medal in cycling at the 2012 London Olympics. She has been a professional cyclist for 15 years.

More than 120 students who participated in Bethel Elementary’s summer reading program and summer camp were surprised by Tamayo last month at a party to celebrate their achievements.

Every summer, Bethel Elementary opens its library on Tuesdays for students to check out books and spend time reading with their families. Students who came to the library more than five times over summer break were invited to the reading celebration.

Tamayo talked with students about her Olympic experience and even passed around her silver medal.

“Our students were so excited to meet an Olympic athlete,” said Diana Gray, Bethel Elementary media coordinator. “Students asked meaningful questions and left the celebration feeling like they could accomplish their goals.”

Tamayo told students that in her senior yearbook, she was quoted as saying that her dream was to compete in the Olympics. She emphasized that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.