Three-time Olympians Chris Duplanty and Joy Fawcett, visited Harbor City Elementary to speak with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students about their Olympic journey and how everyone has their own unique story.
Both Chris and Joy are talented Olympic medalists but the story of how they each made it to the upper echelon of their sport varies greatly.
Growing up, Chris was always trying new things and wanted to try every sport he could. He made it a point to give 100% in whatever he was doing, and he always wanted to be the best he could be.
“We all make mistakes but it means we are trying and learning,” Chris told the students. “You can separate yourself from those around you by learning from those mistakes as it ultimately makes you stronger.”
Chris competed in water polo and loved swimming. He didn’t know if he was going to make the Olympic team but he knew he was going to try.
“Nothing bad comes from trying,” he said.
Joy, an Olympic gold and silver medalist in soccer, had a different approach than Chris growing up. She was shy and didn’t want to stand out.
“I never wanted to try anything because I didn’t want to fail,” she said.
She had been afraid to fail and credits her high school soccer coach for helping to encourage her to go after her dreams.
Joy told the students that she always loved watching the Olympics and had dreamed about one day going. When she made it as a professional soccer player, women’s soccer was still not a sport in the Olympics. She wanted to be a part of that change and she is proud that she was able to help pave that way for other women in her sport.
Toward the end of her professional career, Joy also had the unique distinction of being a world-class soccer player and a mom. She said that it was a lot of work and took a lot of balance, but she gave a lot of credit to their teammates for all their help.
“There was a time where I wanted to quit but I knew it was a great life,” she said. “This was a great learning experience to teach my children about the importance of not giving up.”