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Our Olympian on Sochi

Suzanne Stettinius '11 with Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno.
February 11, 2014

When pentathlete Suzanne Stettinius ’11 represented her country in the 2012 Summer Games, the lessons she learned while training on the Hill helped her overcome some disappointments. Her advice for Team USA in Sochi? “Give it all you’ve got and enjoy everything.”

Competing as one of only two women on the U.S. Modern Pentathlon team with the sport’s five elements of fencing, swimming, riding and combined running-and-shooting would not have been possible without mentors like Head Swim Coach Jeff Hiestand, Stettinius says. After she “choked” during the fencing, she knew her chances of winning a top-10 ranking were greatly diminished, but her training helped her overcome disappointment and focus on the rest of the event.

She just wishes she’d taken more time to relax and enjoy the experience, and suggests the elite athletes in Sochi do this: “Work your butt off. But if things aren’t going the way you want them to, remember: you made it to the top, to the Olympics.”

Stettinius, 26, will watch her favorite events, freestyle skiing and biathlon, but won’t sit still long enough to see much else. She now plays ice hockey on a women’s league team called “Mother Puckers” and has resumed steeplechase racing. She’s also coaching track and field at The Catholic School of Baltimore and continues to oversee her Mint Meadows Pony Racing Club, a riding program she designed for adolescents.