Monday, August 23, 2004

A Refreshing Role Model for Young Girls

One of Andrea's role models is a pretty 30 year old woman, a wife and mother, who lives in Chino Hills, maybe 15 miles from our home. Her favorite book is the Bible, and if she could have dinner with any 3 people, they would be Jesus, Billy Graham and the President of the United States. Her favorite colors are red, white and blue. Her dream job is to be a Christian motivational speaker.

Andrea admires her so much, she keeps a picture on her bedroom wall of Leah Amico. An autographed picture. You see, Leah Amico plays softball. She plays it very well. So well, that a few minutes ago, she won her third Olympic gold medal.

Mrs. Amico and her husband promote the sport of girls' softball by attending local opening ceremonies and special events, meeting and chatting with the girls, signing autographs and posing for photos with the young players, gold medals around her neck. She lets them touch, hold, even wear her Olympic medals. (And parents, too!)

She exhorts the girls to work hard, be persistent, and to be an unselfish team player. This star college pitcher recounts how, if she hadn't set aside prideful feelings when offered an outfield position on the 1996 USA team, she'd never have been an Olympic player. She's now team USA's top first basewoman.

This three-time Olympian, three-time college softball All-American, and three-time academic All-American says it's all about balance, "Keeping God first, family second and softball/career third."

In this era of over-drugged, self-worshipping athletes, Leah Amico is a refreshing and inspiring role model for all girls and for all of us.

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