When I look back on my three years on the Hill, my experience at The Sun will be one of my defining memories. I believe that the one defining vote from my freshman-year election at BC set me on a new path. My foray into journalism has given me so much in the form of skills, friendships and ultimately, unforgettable experiences.
Toward the end of March, The Cornell Daily Sun published an article written by Anna Hooper ‘25 on the Cornell Women’s Rowing team’s performance at the Doc Hosea Invitational. While seemingly innocuous, the points in the article that implied how the team supposedly performed poorly feel out of touch, as someone very familiar with the team. I once again find myself pleading for all to be kinder to student athletes and recognize their achievements. While I’ve discussed this subject before, I’d like to share more about what it truly means to be a student-athlete, and why articles like this aren’t an accurate depiction of where a team is currently at.
Sports aren’t just about performance in terms of times or standings; those are merely a goal. Athletes simply spend too much time for a medal or a trophy to be the sole driving factor behind why we participate in our sports.
The general Cornell attitude is that student-athletes should be treated just as any student would be. On the surface, this statement makes sense, yet our peers are often the least supportive of any additional needs that student-athletes have. I’ve been told by several naive peers that student-athletes think they’re better than the rest of the student body; this idea is a pervasive one that exists across campus. In my experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
When I see the six players in red and white on the ice, I see my fellow Cornellians, past and present, known and unknown to me, with whom I’ve shared the Cornell tradition. College sports are mechanisms to uplift the campus community, and unite its students — who otherwise diverge into a wide spread of interests — behind one common goal. For those of us primarily immersed in Cornell’s academics, sports are a healthy outlet to engage with our community. In its attempt to build a more academically inclined, intellectual campus, Cornell should look to invest more in its sports programs.
After herniating disks in my lower back between high school and college, I wondered how I was going to complete the two semester Physical Education waiting for me at Cornell. I hurdled for my track team all throughout high school and felt like a part of me died when I learned I wouldn’t be able to run, much less hurdle, for at least the next two years. Somewhat defeatedly, I enrolled in bowling as a fall freshman. In my first class, I asked Jon if he could teach me how to bowl without hurting my back and while I was expecting a dismissal or unhelpful response, Jon simply asked: “Ever bowl two-handed?.”
“The team has worked hard these past few weeks,” first year Sophia Fogarty, a member of the B division crew, said. “I felt confident going into racing on Saturday that we had the ability to perform well.”
Following the suspension of intercollegiate athletic competition due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic over one year ago, Cornell athletics readies for a full-scale resumption of play this year. There are numerous exciting developments and stories to watch as Cornell’s sports teams return to the fold.