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Christy Novitsky Spielman
[1996]

School: Madison

Sports Played: Volleyball, Basketball, Softball

High School Honors: Volleyball: 3-year letter winner; 2nd Team All-PIL as a Sophomore; 1st Team All-PIL as a Junior and Senior; 2nd Team All-State as a Senior; Team Captain as a Senior. Basketball: 4-year letter winner; 1st Team All-PIL as a Junior; 1st Team All-PIL and All-State as a Senior; Player of the Year and Team Captain as a Senior. Softball: 4-year letter winner; 1st Team All-PIL as a Junior and Senior; Team Captain as a Senior. Multnomah Athletic Club Scholar Athlete.

Post High School Career: Volleyball at University of Portland for 4 years; 2000 U of P “Most Inspirational”; 1998-99 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Academic Team; 1999 West Coast Conference All-Academic Team.

Commentary:

Who doesn't love an inspirational sports story where the underdog triumphs against unbeatable odds to come out on top? To me, sports are a metaphor for life. The drama that unfolds on the court or field epitomizes what life hands you as you go along.

My Grandpa Walter loved all things sports related and encouraged me to pursue dreams I may have thought otherwise possible. Through my athletic experiences I learned many lessons; some came easy others the hard way. I've learned you're going to win some and lose some. The losses make the wins more triumphant. The people closest to you will help you muddle through the tough times in life as well as on the court and also help you celebrate the great times. If you have a solid team around you, happiness will find you in whatever you are doing.

Hard work, composure and self-confidence are three things that have helped me through many difficult times. Athletics taught me early that you're going to fail, but it truly is how you bounce back that defines the kind of person you are and forges the path to future successes. In the past 20 years I've learned to ride the waves of ups and downs more graciously than I knew how to when I was competing in high school and college. I've learned to accept defeats as an opportunity to learn to work harder and play.

As I watch my own children begin their paths down the field of life, I am struck by how far I have come and the lessons I've learned that my Grandpa was trying to instill in me from an early age. While sports and athletics may not be for everyone, they have provided situations for me to practice skills that have helped me traverse through the ups and downs of real life.

Vocationally I am currently an Elementary Education Teacher. I also help my husband manage our Engineering and Construction business. I enjoy running and play recreational outdoor volleyball.

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