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USA Rugby Olympian speaks at Oakcrest School

USA Rugby Olympian Alev Kelter spoke to students at Oakcrest School in McLean in early May as part of a leadership workshop series. Kelter shared her inspiring story about how to tackle emotional disappointment and push through the tough times in life.


A dual-sport athlete in college, she played on both the U.S. National Soccer and Hockey Teams, but failed to make the Olympic teams for either sport. She overcame those challenges by being mentally resilient and keeping her eyes open for other opportunities, which led her to rugby when she was 22 and a spot on Team USA's inaugural women’s squad at the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games. She was the first American woman to ever score in rugby at the Olympic games.

“Alev’s life experiences on and off the field are an important lesson for our girls about seizing the moment and finding opportunities to thrive despite adversity,” said Christie Keuchel, director of student life at Oakcrest. “Her story is a shining example of a growth mindset, a philosophy we fully embrace and promote at Oakcrest.”

A practicing Catholic, Kelter credits her faith as a profound inspiration and motivator in her athletic career. “I play rugby — sports for that matter — because I was blessed with a talent that God provided me from a young age,” she said in a recent interview. “I made a pact with God at 14 years old that I would offer up all my athletics as a platform to inspire and motivate. I wanted to make an Olympic team because I know that’s the biggest platform to reach others and share God’s will.”

Kelter hails from a U.S. Air Force family, having moved four times before middle school. She has two brothers and a twin sister. At age 8, her family settled in Alaska. She played ice hockey and soccer at the University of Wisconsin where she studied fine arts.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017